Continuing in our series leading up to Easter. Today we meet a woman who showed great devotion to Jesus.
Jesus was invited to have a meal at the house of a man called Simon. He had been a leper and may well have been someone that Jesus had previously healed. Also there was a woman who had a bottle of expensive perfume. She obviously recognised in Jesus someone who was worthy of having it poured over his head.
This did not meet with total approval from those who were there! They obviously considered it a waste to pour it over Jesus in such an extravagant way. They sounded as if they were saying the right things – if the woman didn’t want the perfume, it could be sold and the money given to the poor. But they had missed the point completely.
Jesus wasn’t saying that the poor didn’t matter – his whole life demonstrated the opposite. It was that they would have many other opportunities to show help and compassion, but on this occasion it was what was being done for him in this act that was more important.
First of all, it demonstrated great love and devotion – that someone would be willing to give something valuable to Jesus. That would have cost her a great deal.
Secondly is the symbolism – the anointing of Jesus meaning that he really was King, although the woman mentioned here may not have fully realised the implication of what she was doing.
We need to acknowledge who Jesus is – the King. Yes, by the way of the Cross, but the King none the less. As God he is worthy of all we can give him. It cost the woman greatly in the account here. Not as much as it would ultimately cost Jesus – giving his life in the place of sinners like you and me. If we claim to follow him, what does it cost us to give him our devotion and worship?
Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small.
Love so amazing, so Divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.