Have you ever been in a situation where someone else has noticed something needed doing – and did it, and you never noticed? Someone’s drink needing topping up, somebody needing a seat when you had one, a job waiting for someone to do it…
3Jesus was eating in Bethany at the home of Simon, who once had leprosy, when a woman came in with a very expensive bottle of sweet-smelling perfume. After breaking it open, she poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. 4This made some of the guests angry, and they complained, “Why such a waste? 5We could have sold this perfume for more than three hundred silver coins and given the money to the poor!” So they started saying cruel things to the woman.
6But Jesus said:
Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 7You will always have the poor with you. And whenever you want to, you can give to them. But you won’t always have me here with you. 8She has done all she could by pouring perfume on my body to prepare it for burial. 9You may be sure that wherever the good news is told all over the world, people will remember what she has done. And they will tell others.
This is such a beautiful passage.
Jesus is as Simon’s house and a woman comes with a jar of valuable ointment. She breaks the jar and pours the ointment on Jesus head. What a beautiful thing to do.
But there are those there that grumble, “what a waste”, “what things we could have done with that money”. They were angry. But it had never occurred to them to do it. They had failed to notice.
She had seen – and acted. Jesus was now anointed, ready for his burial. There were many other things she could have done with her gift, but she wanted to give it to Jesus. She doesn’t bring a cheaper version, she brings something wildly expensive – nothing less will do. There is no holding back. This woman wanted to offer what she had, to pour out her worship to Jesus in the abundance that he gave to her.
And how blessed did Jesus feel…
you deserve everything I have,
I pour it out now
as an offering to you.
You have done so much for me,
I bring all I am
and all I have
as my offering