A fragrant offering
“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. 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.” NIV
No doubt you have read the story of the lady who poured perfume on Jesus in an act of extravagant love. She wanted to demonstrate her love for the Lord and so gave the best that she had to offer. Many of those who were there that evening criticized her. Apparently, they considered the expensive perfume was just wasted on Jesus! But to Jesus it was a wonderful act of worship that really touched His heart. Do you know that in the entire New Testament there is no record of anyone giving Jesus anything as an act of worship except this woman? They all came to receive what He had to offer but none had anything to offer Him. Jesus received her gift with love and appreciation and memorialized her forever.
Her story is an example to us on how to touch the Lord’s heart. We often say that we love the Lord, that He is everything to us. How do we express that love in tangible ways? How do we go beyond words of love to acts of love? What gift can we bring to Jesus? How can we touch His heart? How do we imitate the woman who poured perfume on Jesus in our day, in our time?
Well, interestingly, in the preceding chapter (Matthew 25), Jesus said that when we do anything to “the least of these…”, we do it to Him and for Him. In other words, He considers that anything we do for the poor, the lost, the hurting, the needy, we actually do for Him! Think about what this means. When we touch someone in need, we actually touch the Lord Himself. When we give a drink or some food to a thirsty or hungry person, we are actually giving it to the Lord.
Suddenly, there are many ways with which to love God, touch God, serve God and offer Him gifts. Suddenly, there opens before us many opportunities to bring our perfume and pour it out upon the Lord in acts of extravagant love and worship.
There are so many people who are hurting, suffering, in need. God feels their pain as surely as He feels your pain. You can make a difference. A word of encouragement, a prayer, a helping hand, a sympathetic ear, sharing what you have, giving of yourself…all these will be as fragrant as the perfume of that lady and just as pleasing to Jesus.
What we give to God is never wasted. We may receive no appreciation here on earth and perhaps even those we help may not prove to be grateful. But we do not do these things for the gratitude of men. Rather we consider these acts as acts of worship to our God and we know that they are pleasing to Him, that they touch His heart. It is our gift to Him. So, break out that perfume jar and anoint Jesus with acts of extravagant love!