Matthew 26:6-13. Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”
- What inspired this woman to do this? This was what we would call a prophetic act but as far as we know, she was not filled with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not been released to live within men at that time. How would she have known that she should take that bottle of perfume and pour it on Jesus’ head, in front of all those people?
- It would have taken tremendous courage at that time to do something like this. She moved as God moved her. She simply obeyed an inspired thought and she ended up on an eternal platform!
- We are all created by God in His image and He is able to speak to our hearts. We all have a choice, however, to obey the inspiration of the Lord or to discard it. Our consciences bear witness with us that we can do what is right and recognise what is wrong, inappropriate or unacceptable, from a very early age. This is made clearer when we see accidents caused by people ‘driving under the influence’. Without corrupting influences, more importantly with positive, biblical influences, we are able to follow God’s inspiration.
- This woman’s solitary connection with Jesus changed her destiny forever. She gave all that she had; according to witnesses, she wasted her life savings on God (in obedience to an inner prompting) but she reaped eternal recognition.
- From the point when she poured our this precious perfume to the point of her death, she probably couldn’t have imagined the far-reaching implications of her simple obedience. We still don’t know her name. We do recognise her action: an act of faith, a demonstration of her faith in God and in the Lord Jesus.
- There was nothing to receive from this offering in the eyes of men. It was a ‘burnt offering’; poured out with nothing expected in return. She didn’t set out to give so she would receive; she just obeyed and walked away.
I am learning, like this woman, to fill my heart with God’s word so that I can obey the leading of the Holy Spirit and walk away. I am learning not to seek out or to understand the multiple ramifications of obeying these promptings, but simply to ascertain that the inspired thoughts do not go against God’s word. I am learning to ‘walk on water’ when I hear or I sense the Lord encouraging me to come.
Walk by faith; believe that your obedience is bringing God pleasure and is fulfilling destiny and He will glorify Himself through you.