But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me.”
That’s a tricky question to ask since people so often assume that churches and ministries that ask such questions are only after their money. But with no strings attached, ask yourself, “How much of the money I have saved would I spend to simply show Jesus my devotion?”
In the case of Mary (the sister of Lazarus), it was pretty much everything she had.
In John 12, we learn that she’s the woman in today’s story. And we also learn that the “perfume” she had in the alabaster jar was spikenard, which was extremely expensive. In fact, John tells us that the jar of nard was worth 300 denarii.
In biblical times, a denarius was essentially the value of a day’s wages for a skilled laborer. Today, at minimum wage prices, that comes to around $60. So that puts Mary’s jar in the price range of $18,000.
So again, ask yourself – “Would I pour $18,000 worth of perfume on Jesus’ head to show him how much I love him?” Honestly, I don’t know if I could say “Yes” to that question. And considering the value of the jar, it’s easier to see why Judas had an objection to Mary’s literal outpouring. (Of course, he probably had more of an interest in pocketing the money than giving it to the poor.)
But Jesus cautions us to look not with our physical eyes at how we worship, but with spiritual eyes. Not all of us will be called to break an alabaster jar in our devotion to Him, but we should be willing to put everything we have on the line for Him if He asks it of us. And we certainly shouldn’t think others to be foolish if He leads them to pour out their love for Christ in an extravagant way.
Today, thank the Lord for all He has done for you. Let Him know that He indeed is Lord of your life and all that you have. And let nothing in your world keep you from showing Him how truly important He is to you.
Reflection copyright © 2018 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.