When Jesus was at Bethany visiting the house of Simon, who had a skin disease, a woman came to him with a vase made of alabaster containing very expensive perfume. She poured it on Jesus’ head while he was sitting at dinner. Now when the disciples saw it they were angry and said, “Why this waste? This perfume could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor.” But Jesus knew what they were thinking. He said, “Why do you make trouble for the woman? She’s done a good thing for me. You always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me. By pouring this perfume over my body she’s prepared me to be buried. I tell you the truth that wherever in the whole world this good news is announced, what she’s done will also be told in memory of her.”
Food For Thought:
What an amazing story! Just a few chapters before, a legal expert asked Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:34-40). This passage in Matthew 26 provides us with a reiteration of these commandments. Jesus celebrates her action. Those gathered grumbled that she hadn’t chosen to sell the perfume for money to give the poor, but Jesus affirms that she did what is right. By her anointing, she loved the Lord her God with all her heart, all her being, and all her mind. She put Jesus ahead of all other good things. Her act (although not her name!) continues to be told because of her great, faithful, love of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, I want to love you first! I want to love you with all my heart! I want to love you with all my being! I want to love you with my entire mind! Help me to turn my love and my actions and my thoughts toward you. Guide me to love you above all other things. Stand with me when I take big risks in your name. I love you, Lord. Amen.