Day 23 | The Generous Gift

Matthew 26:1-13

When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Words: Scott Wilson Read: 0 - 5 mins Published: 23 March 2024

Have you ever made a meal or given a gift to someone you don’t know well? Perhaps a neighbour or someone experiencing loss in your community? Have you ever wondered or been apprehensive about how they might receive that gift?


When I read this story of the woman who poured out this oil, I like to visualise her walking up to the house. I wonder what was going through her head as she approached Jesus, recognising who He was and wanting to bring an offering, a gift that would be worthy of His value. Was she bold? Was she humble? Was she nervous? Was she in wonder?


We may not bring oil or perfume to Jesus but as His followers, we are invited into this beautiful surrender to offer our whole lives in response to His mercy, grace and salvation. Our life laid before Him, our devotion and our dedication to Him is our gift and our offering.


I heard a story of a lady worshipping at a conference in a way perceived as distracting and disruptive. One of the guest speakers was observing how other attendees were being affected by the freedom with which this lady was worshipping – it was just getting to be too much. The worship came to an end, and another guest speaker leant over to this frustrated onlooker and whispered, “Wasn’t that beautiful to watch? Did you know that lady was set free from prostitution and oppression by Jesus, and now all she can do is worship with total surrender?” Needless to say, the frustrated onlooker felt a little convicted.


How does this story relate to the woman with the alabaster jar? The reality is, we will never know the cost of another person’s worship. We may not know what they have walked through or the price they have paid for their yes to Jesus. Likewise, no one will know the cost of my worship but Jesus – he is the one who paid the price after all! The fact that someone has chosen to worship Jesus through or out of their circumstance is a victory nonetheless.


I encourage you to listen to this song by CeCe Winans. As you listen to the lyrics, perhaps take a moment to remember that moment when He really met you and embraced you. Perhaps it’s been so long you can’t remember. He might just want to take you back there as you worship Him freely once again and allow His arms to wrap around you.

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