The Alabaster Jar

by Beth Fore

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. 
“Why are you bothering her?
She has done a beautiful thing to me.
The poor you will always have with you,
and you can help them any time you want. 
But you will not always have me.  She did
what she could.  She poured perfume on
my body beforehand to prepare for
my burial. I tell you the truth,
wherever the gospel is preached
throughout the world, what she
has done will also be told,
in memory of her.”

(Mark 14:6-9 NIV)

The Alabaster Jar

A woman who lived a sinful life
went to the house of a Pharisee.
She was seeking to see Jesus
and came before Him in humility.

She stood behind Him weeping
and wet His feet with her tears.
She wiped them with her hair,
despite Simon and the disciples’ jeers.

She came with an alabaster jar
of very expensive perfume.
She poured perfume on Jesus’ head,
and sighs were heard in the room.

The disciples rebuked the woman
for foolishly spending this money,
but Jesus commended her and said,
“She has done a beautiful thing to me.”

The woman was preparing Jesus’ body
with perfume for burial upon His death,
and Jesus said she would be remembered
long after He would take His last breath.

The woman was willing to sacrifice
her money and give Jesus every thing,
so that she could serve her Master
and bring honor and praise to her King.

written by Beth Fore

*Jesus is very pleased when someone chooses to honor Him in a special way.

“Why are you bothering her?  She has done a beautiful thing to me.  The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.  But you will not always have me.  She did what she could.”  (Mark 14:6-8 NIV)

A woman who had lived a very sinful life went to the house of a Pharisee to find Jesus.  She entered the house and came before Jesus in a humble manner.  She stood behind Him weeping, and she wet His feet with her tears.  She wiped them with her hair.  Then see poured very expensive perfume on Jesus’ head.

The apostles were surprised at such a display from this woman, and they criticized her for pouring a whole bottle of expensive perfume on Jesus’ head.  Some of them said that this money could have been sold and the money given to the poor. What the woman saw that the apostles didn’t see was that she recognized that Jesus was her Savior and she wanted to honor Him and do something very special for Him because He was worthy of all their honor and praise.

Giving money to the poor is definitely a wonderful thing to do, and Christians are taught to give to the poor; but, we are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul, then love our neighbors.  Honoring God and praising Him and giving our ALL to Him is what pleases God most; so, this woman was very pleasing to Jesus.

*God is always pleased when His children use their gifts (spiritual and material) to serve and honor him.

“She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.  I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is peached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”  (Mark 14:8-9 NIV)

The woman knew she wanted to honor Christ.  She may or may not have known that she was preparing Jesus for his burial.  She was following the will of God; whether she was guided by an angel or the Holy Spirit, she did what she was asked to do.  And now we read the gospel of Mark and we remember what this woman did, just as Christ said we would.

God has given each one of us at least one spiritual gift, and He has given us many physical gifts.  He wants us to use all of these gifts to bring Him honor and glory in everything we do. 

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV).

APPLICATIONS

  1. What are some other examples in the Bible where a person honored God in a special way?
  2. Why can we identify with the apostles when they criticized the woman for not using the money to help the poor?
  3. The woman was willing to sacrifice her pride and money to honor Christ.  Are you willing to do the same?
  4. What is/are your spiritual gift(s), and how are you using it/them to give honor and glory to God?
  5. Why is it important for every Christian to use his or her spiritual gifts?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

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