Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”
But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 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. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
This passage could have been one of the great teaching parables that Jesus used to illustrate and accentuate kingdom principles. A few points that I think frame the passage. Firstly, he was gather with his disciples at the home of a one time outcast leper. Secondly, they were seated around the dinner table enjoying a meal together. So everyone was surprised when a woman suddenly poured this expensive perfume on the Lord. Lastly, only one person got it right - only one focused on the Lord.
The contrast between the action of the woman and the reactions of the disciples is very telling. The woman, who probably owned the expensive perfume, could only think of ministering to the Lord. All the disciple could think of was using money for ministry - and they missed out because their focus was not on the Lord. Neither the woman or the men understood the profound significance of the act. Perhaps that is always true when we give? Maybe love is all about ministering to Jesus without knowing the consequences?
Lord, help me to be an extravagant giver and not be concerned about money.