Message in a Jar?-Derek Wadsworth

Matthew 26 records an interesting episode in the life of Jesus, just two days before he was killed. This was an action-packed week, filled with highly significant events — and this event is no exception. In Matthew 26, we find a description of Jesus being anointed with perfume.

The story begins in verses 1-2:
“When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, ‘As you know, the Passover is two days away — and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.’”
Jesus knows that his time is short – he has only two days to live – but his disciples seem to be unaware of it. Jesus will soon be given another opportunity to tell his disciples about his impending death. Then there is an abrupt change of scene, in which Matthew tells us what is happening in another place at about the same time. .
“The chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. `But not during the Feast,’ they said, ‘or there may be a riot among the people’” (verses 3-5).

Jesus anointed with perfume

Matthew then takes us back to Jesus. “While Jesus was in Bethany [two miles from Jerusalem] in the home of a man known as 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” (verses 6-7). A whole jar of perfume! The smell would have filled the entire room.
“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.'”
Then Jesus, with special emphasis, then said, “I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (verses 8-13).

Why is this story so important that it will be told wherever the gospel message goes?

Jesus’ death

His sacrifice

Concern about the money

An amazing response

A few thoughts that we can reflect upon:

Have we ever done anything extravagant for Jesus Christ? Have we ever done anything so outrageous for him that other people thought we were foolish? Have we ever been so bold with love that other people have criticized what we did? Some of us have. Maybe it was a long time ago. Whenever it was, it was sweet-smelling aroma offered to God. OR maybe we just worship and praise Him for who He is and receive the grace and mercy He lovingly gives….

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