What you didn’t know about the Alabaster jar story

May 18, 2020

One day, when Jesus was with his disciples, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar, full of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head.

We read this in the Bible, in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 26. It’s quite clear that the perfume was really expensive, because seeing the woman do this, the disciples get pretty annoyed and ask, “why this waste?”

But it didn’t seem like waste to the woman, and neither did it seem like waste to Jesus. To them, it was an act of love and sacrifice.

It wasn’t just any jar of expensive perfume; it was probably the source of her livelihood. And she gives it all up more than willingly, as a sign of genuine repentance and love.

Jesus commends her act by saying, “Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Isn’t that awesome?

But here’s something I read recently that I’d never noticed before.

Immediately after this verse, we read – Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?

Judas Iscariot was the disciple who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

It’s so crazy because this happens immediately after the woman anoints Jesus with the perfume.

When we put these two stories together, we see such a stark contrast.

The woman had thought about what she could GIVE to Jesus.

Judas, on the other hand, wondered what he could GET for betraying Jesus.

The woman gave up what was most costly to her, because compared to Jesus, it was worth nothing.

Judas, gave up Jesus for something cheap. (30 silver pieces wasn’t even considered a lot of money in that time)

The woman sacrificed something temporary for Jesus.

Judas sacrificed Jesus for the temporary.

It’s crazy because this is not only recorded in the Bible, but it’s also evident in our lives.

How often do we look at life and even church and wonder what we can get from it?

How often are we faced with a choice of giving up Jesus for the things of this world, whether it means compromising on faith, denying Him, or disobeying Him, and we gladly take it?

When will we start asking ourselves “what can I give?” instead of “what can I get?”

Your walk with Jesus isn’t just about Him blessing you.

It’s about worship.

And worship means sacrifice.

And sacrifice means giving.

Jesus said that whatever the woman did that day will always be told in memory of her. Here we are, still remembering that story.

Judas’ story is remembered too, but for a different reason. We remember him as a traitor.

We get to choose who we want to be today.

Go ahead, make a choice to give.

Break your alabaster jar, and pour out your perfume on Jesus.

Here’s a cover of Yeshua Ministries’ song, Tumsa. Hope it blesses you.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship. - Romans 12:1
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