Are you familiar with the account of the woman who, in the eyes of the onlookers, wasted her most prized possession on Jesus?

It’s one of my most favourite stories. The story in Mark 14:3-9 (and the other Gospels) always challenges me, as I visualize this woman’s act of worship.

What would it have been like to be in that room and witness this firsthand? How would I have responded? Would I have questioned her actions like the others did or would I have been spurred on to deeper worship of my King?

I have all these questions and more. But, I wasn’t in the room. So how I would have responded is not important, and quite frankly I don’t want to waste time thinking hypotheticals.

The important questions are what can I learn from this woman’s act of worship and, how will I respond today.

There are so many beautiful moments in this story, it’s hard to pick just one to write about, so I’ll write about two…maybe three.

First, the woman’s alabaster jar had to be broken in order to pour out her perfume…and she was ok with it.

Actually, she was the one who initiated it. I don’t know if you’re the same, but the word ‘break’ doesn’t always stir up positive emotions for me. It feels painful and scary. Jesus was sitting right there when this woman broke her jar. In our breaking, Jesus is right there too. Our best can only be released when we’re totally undone and submitted to our King.

Second, can we talk about the cost of her sacrifice? I mean…wow!

The value of the perfume in her jar, could have been up to a year’s wages. One. Year’s. Wages. HUGE pause for dramatic effect. Friends…I think we can all agree that this woman wasn’t concerned about material wealth. This woman knew exactly what was important and her sacrifice proved that.

Lastly, her sacrifice impacted others.

John’s account of the same story (John 12:3) says ‘the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume’. She was unequivocally uninhibited in her worship to the One who would be her Saviour. She had little care or concern of what others would say or think about the sacrifice she brought to her King. And the room noticed it.

So three things as I close this off:

  1. Be ok with the ‘breaking’. Becoming undone in the presence of the King is literally the safest place.
  2. He’s worth the sacrifice. Take a page out of David’s book when he said “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24)
  3. Your sacrifice will impact people. Some might question or mock, some may not understand. But others, like I am with this woman’s story, may be provoked to examine their own alabaster jars, be ok with its breaking and not counting the cost.

Listen to this song

Submitted by Tricia Wright.