Matthew 21:23-24:51, Mark 11:20-13:37, Luke 20:1-21:38, John 12:20-38
Jesus’ ministry continued the Passover week in the temple teaching and spending time at the Mount of Olives. We know that Jesus also spent His evenings with his friends in Bethany.
One evening while Jesus was eating at the house of Simon the leper, a woman approached Him. Before we continue with the story, it is interesting to note where Jesus was and who He was sitting with—a leper. Lepers were not allowed around the general population, and yet, we find Simon and Jesus spending time together. Jesus had healed this man’s leprosy.
This woman came to Jesus and brought her alabaster jar of expensive ointment, costing nearly a year’s wages, and she lavishly poured the perfume on Jesus while He reclined at the table. This was a dramatic scene of love and honor, and to many would have seemed inappropriate. In fact, even some of the disciples started interrupting the passionate display, saying the ointment should have been sold and the money used for ministry purposes.
Then Jesus says something absolutely shocking: For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial (Matthew 26:11-12, ESV).
This was shocking because the conquering king was now preparing for death and not a victory. Shocking because He has allowed this woman to continue. Shocking because the ministry many had given their careers and families to pursue was ending. Shocking because this was supposed to be the time to overtake the Roman empire, not succumb to defeat and death.
Judas had had enough. The heart of the betrayer is always revealed when passionate worship disturbs it. Are you willing to pour out your most precious, most expensive, most valuable upon the Lord? Maybe the sacrifice is your career, your family, your possessions…are you willing to lay them upon the Lord as a testimony to His burial and resurrection. What you lay at His feet in preparation for burial, will always live again through His resurrection power. What this woman did has been a testimony and will continue to be a testimony for us all to worship more fully.
We have a sign in our prayer room that says, “Worship like it’s your last earthly worship.” What would happen if we lived with the motto of this woman and to worship like it is the last chance on this earth before you step into eternal worship. There is an experience on this side of Heaven in worshipping the Lord that you can only experience here–the moment when you press through the veil of your own flesh and enter boldly into the holy place in this life. Once you step into eternity, worship will be sweet, but it will be different than the sacrifice of praise you offer in this life. Pour out your costly perfume of praise upon the Lord today!