Over the next three weeks, we will read from Matthew’s gospel about Jesus’ journey to the cross. I hope these devotions will help prepare your heart for Easter, as we remember why Jesus died, what it was like for him to suffer, and how glorious was his resurrection.
While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Our world starves for beautiful things. So much ugliness, bitterness and brokenness surround us that we may have a hard time finding the few truly good, noble, beautiful things that happen. Of course, they do happen, sometimes. Neighbors care for neighbors. People generously offer help to those who are hurting. Parents sacrifice for their children. God’s people gather to sing praise to the Savior and to declare the truth of his word. When beautiful things like these happen, don’t miss them and don’t take them for granted. Our hearts need the few glimmers of goodness we can find to cut through the darkness that engulfs so much of our world.
The disciples almost missed the beauty of this woman’s act of love and worship. They were caught up in financial worries and the social stigma of a woman daring to interrupt their meal. Jesus quieted their indignation, calling her gift of perfume and devotion “a beautiful thing.” Jesus not only appreciated her generous, humble act, but He prophesied that what she had done would always be remembered as part of his story. She anointed Jesus with expensive perfume, offering him a gift of honor and praise. Whether she understood or not, she also foreshadowed Jesus’ death and burial. Just as He said, we still read her story today and are inspired to bring our own gift of generous devotion to our Lord.
What can you bring Jesus? What beautiful gift of worship or service can you offer him? You might bring a beautiful song of praise. You might give a sacrificial financial gift to help grow the Kingdom. You might show compassion in Jesus’ name to someone in need. You might create something beautiful that will inspire others to worship God. Whatever you feel led to bring Jesus, be assured that He will receive and appreciate the beautiful gift you offer.
Jesus, You are worthy of all my praise and service. I love You and want to bring You something beautiful by loving others, lifting up Your name in worship and obeying Your word. I pray in Your good and mighty name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian