“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her?
She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
A woman had just anointed Jesus with extremely expensive perfume. Some of those present – probably all men – were indignant, called it a waste and said that it could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor. They rebuked her harshly. Jesus intervened and told them not to bother her for what she had done to Him was a ‘beautiful thing.’ He continued,
“I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:9)
How easy it is to become conceptual and legalistic – and to forget that love lies at the very heart of our relationship with God and each other. True love can be very extravagant and seemingly wasteful as John reminds us,
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,” (John 3:16)
- “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
God’s example is of a ‘lavish love’ that does not hold back but expresses itself wonderfully. The woman had clearly been deeply touched by this love and was responding in the most expressive way that she could. This was not the love of obedience but the overflowing love from a grateful heart. It clearly touched Jesus deeply. So significant did He find it that He promised, and ensured, that it would continue to be told wherever the gospel was preached.
But there was something more. Although the woman would have been unaware of it Jesus saw in her actions an anointing of Him in preparation for His burial that lay just ahead. He had been blessed by love just before He was deserted, rejected and abused. And such was the power of the perfume that it was probably still noticeable when He was nailed to the cross.
Could you do a beautiful thing for the Lord today – or for someone He cares about?.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for always wanting something from You. Touch my heart with Your love so that I too may wish to love You back unreservedly. Amen.