(Today's post by Marc Cannon)
There is a wonderful portion of Scripture here, sandwiched between two terrible sections of Scripture, that is one of the most beautiful stories in the entire Bible. Here you have Jesus reclining at supper with his disciples and no doubt a few others as guests in what I picture to be a dusty, drafty, thatched roof house. While He’s reclining, a woman, Mary she’s called in a couple of the gospels, takes out an alabaster jar of pure spikenard and pours it on Jesus’ head and then pours it upon His feet. She then takes her hair and rubs the nard into His feet. Nard, at the time, was very rare and expensive. While there is no way of knowing, it most likely was the most expensive possession she owned. It was a perfume/ointment from India and had a pleasant and strong aroma. It was so strong that when she poured out the 12 oz. jar of perfume upon Jesus, the entire house was filled with the pleasant smell. What a beautiful way to worship, honor, and serve her Lord.
The disciples were taken aback by this because of the expense of this act of humility. The oil was so rare that they claimed it was worth 300 denarii, roughly $12,000 USD today. In their eyes, they could have sold that perfume and fed or clothed a lot of people and they viewed it a waste. Admittedly, I’ve had these very same thoughts about this in the past. Put a few drops on Jesus and sell the rest, right?
I sit here writing this, beating my head against the wall trying to figure out what I could possibly honor Jesus with in a similar fashion as the woman with nard. I have no material possession that can even equate to this story. Then I’m convicted – Our possessions are ultimately His, but it’s not the perfume that’s important. Just as the disciples have missed the point here, I have too; until now. It’s about humility. It’s about honoring Jesus with our humility and that means giving up all we have; not just a drop or two.
At the end of this section of scripture, verses 14-16, Judas makes his deal to basically “sell” Jesus to Caiaphas. The amount: 30 pieces of Silver; roughly $24 USD. Basically the same amount of money that would buy a ½ tank of gas in my 1997 Ford Ranger. What a terribly selfish act.
I look at the stark contrast between these two events and I wonder where I lie in relation to the two; giving Him all I have or living faithless and selfishly?
In light of the contrasting Scripture today I pray that each of us examines our hearts. I pray that we’re giving all of ourselves humbly to Jesus and not selling Him short in our own lives.