This blog was insipired by a sermon by Pastor Leonard Ravenhill.
Most of us have heard the story of the woman and the Alabaster Jar in Matt. 26:7, Mark 14:3
The disciples were astonished not by her devotion to the Lord, but by her "wasting" of a very expensive perfume. It is said it was worth around a year's wages.
Then in another occacion - not sure if it was the same woman ,
In John 12:3 it says that "Mary took a pound of ointment, genuine nard of great value, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet dry with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of her ointment."
Again, the disciples (in this case Judas Iscariot) complaint about her "wasting" an expensive perfume with the excuse that it could have been sold and the given to the poor. Sounds like a pretty noble idea right? I am sure that in any other occation Jesus would have agreed to that. However, he did not. This time things were different. This time Jesus was to be his disciples priority.
Like his disciples, we often miss one very important part of the stories. In both occations it is mentioned that after the woman poured the perfume over Jesus, the fragrance filled the room. We all know how wonderful it is to walk into a room where the smells are like roses, soft but penetrating to your core. We all enjoy nice fragances. Yet, it is something that most of the time is ignored or taken for granted.
In this case the fragance if both literal and methaforical. When we come to the presence of our Lord, whether it is in prayer, worship, fellowship or reading of the word - There is always an amazing fragance of love, peace and grace. Our intimate times with the Christ bring us joy. We could say it is like an open jar of alabaster that fills the room with its fragance.
Yet, there is one more thing that we always miss. It is part of the second story where the woman pours the perfume over Jesus feet. Did you notice what she did? yes, she wiped His feet with her hair. That shows two things. Her devotion, her offering and her reward.
We are called to do everything out of love. We were created to first of all worship God for who he is. Because He is God and deserves our undistracted attention. However, we are also called to be more like Jesus. To seek his presence and to be blessed by Him.
If you think about it, when the woman wiped Jesus feet with her hair, she got some of the VERY expensive perfume on herself. On her hair.
Now she was also smelling great. The wonderful fragance was also coming out of her. She was blessed...unintentionally. Wherever she would go for the rest of the day (or week if they didn't wash their hair that often!) she would bring this fabulous fragance along to spread. Every room she would enter would be filled with a wonderful smell. She would be a blessing to others.
Often times we spend hours, days a lifetime seeking the Lord, reading his word, praying, fellowshiping; Yet, nothing really sticks to us. Our offerings and sacrifices to the Lord have no effect on us. We sing praises to Him, but are not affecteed by the lyrics. Many times we are like his disciples, complaining, thinking that we know what is the best way to show our reverence. The best way to present an offering. The best way to do godly acts. We miss our focus. Jesus himself. We forget to truly bring before him our MOST expensive offering just to honor Him. We are so blinded and insensitive to His mercies and grace, that it no longer affect us. The fragance remains only in Jesus and nothing on us.
Our fragance should come from Jesus. The woman did not pour the perfume on her hair and then rub it on Jesus' feet. It was the other way around. He was the sun. She was the moon shining only thanks to the reflection of the sun. What a blessing. I'm sure she did not want to wash her hair anymore. Just to be reminded by the smell of the love, mercy and grace of our Lord. She shared something very valuable with Him.
Lets do the same. Pour Jars of Alabaster that will also affect your life for the glory of God.
Enjoy the song.