Imagine you’ve just finished a hearty meal. That welcome “comfortably full” feeling has taken full affect, and, satisfied, you lean back in your chair to enjoy some conversation with good friends.
Suddenly, you feel your head liquid rushing onto your head and down your neck. Is the ceiling leaking? Has a passerby accidentally tripped and spilled their water glass on you?
Jesus experienced this type of sensation shortly before His arrest, only this was no accident. It was an act of honor.
Jesus and the disciples were gathered in the house of Simon the Leper when a woman approached Jesus. She held an alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the liquid, which was worth “more than a year’s wages” (Mark 14:5), over His head.
Bizarre as this scene sounds, this was a display of great humility and admiration. In bestowing this fragrant, extravagant gift upon Jesus, the woman showed Him incredible honor.
This perfume was the absolute best thing this woman had to offer. When my wife’s birthday or our anniversary comes around each year, I don’t want to get her a good gift. I want to find her the perfect gift, something that will thrill her and make her day. I love her like crazy, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make her feel special.
But I’ve never come relatively close to spending an equivalent amount of money as this woman did. Think about how differently you would have to live if a year’s worth of income suddenly vanished from your bank account. What extreme sacrifices would you have to make?
But that’s the beauty of pure love; it knows no bounds. Knowledge can’t stand up to it. Love doesn’t say, “What’s the minimum I can give to make this person happy?” Love is extravagant! It’s audacious! It’s flamboyant!
Common sense says there is no way to justify what this woman did for Jesus.
Yet the same could be said of the flipside.
In just a few days, Jesus would lay down His life for this woman and the rest of humanity. In doing so, He allowed all of us entrance to Heaven, tearing down the barrier sin erected between Heaven and humans.
But why would Jesus, God who created man, sacrifice Himself for man, the very creation that mocked and slaughtered Him?
Love trumps common sense.
We cannot even begin to comprehend the amount of love it takes to pull off what Jesus did, yet He didn’t hesitate. He allowed Himself to be separated from the Father so we, faulty and flawed as we are, could connect with Him.
You may not be able to physically bless Jesus with a perfume bath, but you can show Him your affection in three ways: money, time, and talent. God has given you these great gifts; will you choose to return the blessing through love, or keep them for yourself?
The world favors the latter response. But true love, forgetting conventional wisdom, calls you to the former. So I challenge you this week: do something in love that doesn’t make sense.