Imagine you saved up your salary for a year for the most extravagant meal imaginable. I’m talking about a ticket to a destination city, a first-class hotel for your stay, and a 20-course tasting menu from one of the best chefs in the world; how much would that cost? Think as elaborately as you can. If you devoted a year’s salary to this meal, what could you accomplish?
Now imagine scheduling all the details and paying for this extravagant trip, then giving it away to someone else for free.
What would you friends and family say? How would they judge you?
I think we can find the answer in Mark 14.
A woman had just honored Jesus by pouring a jar of expensive perfume, worth a year’s worth of wages, upon His head. Shocked, those nearby couldn’t believe what they were witnessing: “’Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor?’ And they rebuked her harshly.’” (Mark 14:5)
Jesus was compassionate and cared deeply for the poor (Proverbs 19:17; Luke 14:13), so one might expect Him to agree with the judging people. After all, He had just preached on the importance of aiding the poor, concluding with the famous quote: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (Matthew 25:45)
But in this instance, He commended the woman for her costly act: “Why are you bothering this woman?” He asked the disciples in Matthew 26:10-13. “She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
The woman had this one precious moment to glorify Jesus. She didn’t know if she’d ever encounter Him again, so she fully captured it to honor Him.
The beautiful thing is that we don’t live in that reality. While we may not interact with Jesus physically, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. We have access to God at all times.
The people were justified in questioning whether this act of sacrifice was worth the cost; as honoring as it was, the fragrance of the perfume would eventually fade, and its impact would be lost forever.
But as we studied yesterday, glorifying God and loving Him knows no bounds. There is no amount of money, time, or talents you can spend on Him that won’t justify the cost. After all, He laid down His life for you; whatever you sacrifice, you will never measure up to what Jesus did.
And that’s OK. He doesn’t ask you to equal His love; in fact, it’s not possible for you to do so. But you can do everything in your power to honor Him, and He’ll respect that adoration.
Whatever you think is an extravagant gift to God, give more! You cannot out-honor Him. Remember, He gave everything for you, and everything you possess is a result of His will.
So why hold back? Be like the woman with the perfume. Pour your blessings back out on Jesus, and watch the ways He honors you.