31 May 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 26:6-13 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
6 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. 7 While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. 8 The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. 9 “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” (Matthew 26:6–13 NLT)
Jesus spent the evenings of his last week in the village of Bethany, less than two miles from Jerusalem. Jesus’ friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha lived in Bethany and we know that their home was a welcome haven for Jesus and his disciples when they were in Judea and Jerusalem. It’s likely their home was where Jesus and his friends spent the nights of the final week. This evening they were all at the home of another Bethany resident, a man named Simon. He had “previously had leprosy” and because people weren’t often cured of leprosy, it’s likely that Jesus had healed him of the disease at some point.
Everyone was relaxed and enjoying the food and the conversation and the wine. During the meal, a woman came in (John identifies her in his gospel as Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha) and poured several thousand dollars’ worth of rare and expensive perfume over Jesus’ head. The room filled with the aroma of the perfume and some of the disciples (John singles out Judas) were upset! They complained that the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor!
Jesus replied that he found no fault in her extravagance! In fact, she was the only one in the room who realized what was about to happen to Jesus and who cared enough to honor him in a way that she probably only partly understood. But Jesus understood fully and told the disciples that there’s a time to be practical and there’s a time to follow your heart! And that when you extravagantly follow your heart, God notices and nobody can take that away from you!
Father, Please teach me when to be practical and when to be extravagant! Amen!