Matthew 26:7-13 (New Living Translation)
While Jesus 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.”
It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? The disciples see a reckless woman wasting a valuable resource. We see an insightful follower who understands that Jesus is far more precious. They see how much money the sale of the perfume could bring in, and how much good those funds could do for the needy people they encounter each day. We see how Jesus came to free and redeem the lost and hurting, and how the example of his self-giving love would forever motivate people to reach out in practical ways to those in need.
God sees the big picture. We can only know our limited bit. We often struggle even to see our next step, but God knows our part in the vast story of humanity. And, yet, even with that complete, history-spanning knowledge, God loves each and every person with deep and intimate compassion.
While the disciples see how Jesus is being distracted in the middle of a meal, this unnamed woman knows that she is preparing Jesus for his sacrifice. Hers is a reverential gift of honor and gratitude.
How can you show honor and gratitude to God this Holy Week?