But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could – Mark 14:6-8a ESV
While my wife was away for three months, taking care of her sister because of a serious medical condition, today’s scripture became very real to me. Neighbors, fellow church members and sometimes even I, asked why she was taking so long. Sadly we sounded a lot like the folks in this familiar Bible story. It just seems to be part of our human nature to begin to question when a gift seems too costly. Even in the case where someone is giving to us, we sometimes react with the words, “You really shouldn’t have!” But if they buy a new car or a bigger home for themselves, we all shout, “Wow! Fantastic!”
When someone like the woman in today’s verse gives extravagantly, without expecting in return, we start criticizing. Maybe the reason is because of our own miserly giving. Instead of pouring out on the feet of Jesus we have kept the perfume for ourselves. I have found that it helps to ask, “What will I do with my alabaster jar in heaven?”
Here is the only place and today is the only day I can break it and give it away to Jesus. Remember that we can still smell the beautiful aroma of this one woman’s gift after 2,000 years!