This is the fifth in our series in which we look at the lives of men and women who have gone beyond the expected. This particular article is about a life of worship that speaks forever. We find the narrative in Matthew 26:6-13 and Luke 7:36-50.
The juncture at which the incident took place is at a point when Jesus was nearing the end of His earthly ministry, with the agony of crucifixion looming ever closer. He travelled to Bethany and is in the home of Simon, a man who had previously been suffering from leprosy, but whom He had healed.
As Jesus was eating, a woman came in with an alabaster jar full of expensive perfume, and poured it over His head. The reaction of the disciples to what the woman had done was one of indignation. ‘What a waste,’ they said. ‘This could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor’.
Jesus responded to them by asking why they were criticising the woman for doing essentially what was a good personal deed for Him. He said that the poor would always be with them, but He would not. He told them that what the woman had done was pour perfume on His body in preparation for His burial. He then went on to make an extraordinary statement, that wherever the Good News was preached throughout the world, the story of what the woman had done would always be remembered.
What we see in the action of this woman is a simple act of worship. Her devotion to Jesus was demonstrated personally, practically and publically. She took the best of the very best and used it to honour Jesus. By so doing she had gone beyond the expected.
A key point of application for us is that our worship of Jesus should not be skimpy, ham-fisted, sparing, cheap or mean-spirited. God expects us to come to Him with the very best of what we can bring. By so doing, we go beyond the ordinary. We go beyond the expected.
The words of Jesus in relation to the woman’s act of personal devotion are telling. He prophesied concerning what in itself was a prophetic act of worship on the part of the woman. Firstly, she prophetically prepared the body of Jesus for burial. More significantly was Jesus’ words that what she had done would always be remembered everywhere that the Good News of the gospel is preached.
God wants our worship of Him to be actions that would speak both in time and eternity; leaving a mark in history and a lasting legacy for the generations that are yet to be born. That happens when we go beyond the expected.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2014©
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