14 The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were plotting to arrest Jesus secretly. They wanted to kill him. 2 “But not during the feast,” they said. “The people may stir up trouble.” 3 Jesus was in Bethany. He was at the table in the home of Simon, who had a skin disease. A woman came with a special sealed jar. It contained very expensive perfume made out of pure nard. She broke the jar open and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. 4 Some of the people there became angry. They said to one another, “Why waste this perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s pay. The money could have been given to poor people.” So they found fault with the woman. 6 “Leave her alone,” Jesus said. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 You will always have poor people with you. You can help them any time you want to. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body to prepare me to be buried. 9 What I’m about to tell you is true. What she has done will be told anywhere the good news is preached all over the world. It will be told in memory of her.”
Time and time again I am struck but the difference between worldly wisdom and priorities and God’s. Even the people who knew Jesus best missed the deeper significance of the woman’s actions and were distracted by superficial appearances. Jesus however cut to the heart of the woman’s actions, looking beyond the surface and seeing the love and devotion in her.
We need to be slow to jump to conclusions and open to the possibility that God has a purpose in everything that happens, even beyond what we can immediately see. The person who was best used by God in this story was the one whose heart was open to him as opposed to the disciples standing on the sidelines, critiquing events. The woman was not put off by their judgement – she finished what she set out to do. I hope that when God calls me to step out and do something I will be as brave as her.
Father God give me your eyes to see your purpose at work in me and in those around me. Help me not to judge the actions of those around me. Use me Father to further your kingdom. In Jesus name Amen
Written by Christine Knight