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|A Beautiful Thing
|Thursday, September 07, 2017|
Would you accept a dinner invitation from folks living at the home of “Simon the leper?” Having personally visited a leprosy clinic and seen feet without toes and stumps without hands, I’m not sure I’d even show up.
But Jesus did.
There at the home of Simon the leper, He sat down to eat. Matthew 26 records that at some point during the meal, a woman approached him carrying an alabaster vial of very pricey perfume. She promptly poured it on his head as he lay reclining at the table. Not some of it. All of it.
In a culture where bathing was difficult, the heat often oppressive and deodorant essentially non-existent, a normal dining experience must have required a measure of self-distraction to get past the stink of street life.
So imagine the power of that fragrance, drizzling beauty over every musty molecule in the room. Stench supplanted by sweet.
A wreckless gift? A kindness borne of brashness? Perhaps. At least that was the disciples’ assessment: “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor!”
Jesus shot right back at them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me.”
I had scarcely “heard” these words out of Jesus’ mouth when they pierced me like an arrow. Winded and emotionally gasping, I could not escape the razor edge of such thought.
Have I ever—even once—in my entire life done something for Christ which He would describe as “a beautiful thing done to me”? Have I done just one small task, made one small sacrifice, done one small kindness exclusively for the person and pleasure of Jesus?
I can’t speak for you, but I know that even the best of my “pure” motives are often not very pure. There’s a little of self in there somewhere.
The purity of this woman’s gift—a beautiful thing to Jesus—is a fragrance we still enjoy today. Her story—and her gift—have been celebrated for two millennia. So…
What’s my gift?
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