Monday, August 31, 2015
Lavish or leftovers? |Ranji Babu
This message was preached by Ps. Ranji Babu at Word of Grace Church on the 23rd of August 2015.
Matthew 26:6-13- the woman with the Alabaster Jar
This message tells us the significance of what Jesus did. There are three kinds of people we witness in this situation who represent three kinds of people we deal with even today.
In Verse 7, it says that she entered the house of Simon the leper, who was probably healed by Jesus in the course of his ministry. She enters without being invited and rushes to Jesus and sits at his feet.
Q. What would we do when someone came into our home without being invited?
These men saw that she came with a very expensive gift. She did not speak to anyone else, she went directly to Jesus and maybe her face was covered with tears.
The Jewish women of this era were very fond of perfume. They carried a small bottle around their neck. This perfume was made from a root called ‘nard’ which incidentally originates in India.
Q. what has this woman done?
She made all efforts to have a personal encounter with Jesus. It talks about her love and devotion towards Jesus. She recognised what she experienced from Jesus. She understood that he is the life-giver.
Today, let us examine our hearts. What is God looking for from us? He wants us to know him as the life-giver, as the saviour of the World and the saviour of our lives. So let us give something very precious to God.
When I was a youth pastor and took an offering, they would give torn and useless notes. We would not used these notes to shop , not even a bank would accept them! It’s not poverty, it’s what we conceive in our hearts as important.
Let us look at the response she received from these people:
1. What a Waste! when the disciples saw that she poured the whole jar of perfume over Jesus, they remarked that it was a waste. They used their common sense, not understanding that the economics of common sense is different from the economics of love. Sometimes we do the same in church. People see Sunday morning as a waste of time, resources etc.
Common sense follows the dictates of reason, of what we have and what we can do. Whereas love follows the dictates of the heart. The disciples who have at this point been with Jesus for 3 years haven’t understood this difference. They did not align their hearts with Jesus’.
2. “You could have fed the poor with that money!”: there is an incident in the Gospels where Jesus goes on top of a hill with Philip and Andrew as he wanted to spend time with them. And a huge number of people followed them. They needed to be fed. Philip and Andrew gave reasonable answers- that they did not have enough to feed these many people. They were right as they were using their common sense.
But what this woman has done was an expression of devotion.She poured 300 dinars worth of perfume. A common man's wage was one dinar a day. today 300 dinar is 75,000 rupees. Would you do that for Jesus?
3. “Why do you trouble the woman?... she has done a beautiful thing to me.” : Jesus was telling him disciples to lay off. No matter how we perceive ourselves, God knows what we are going through, God knows what you are going through. He is rebuking his own disciples here, saying that she has done a beautiful thing or good thing. The greek word for "good" is not the one used for morally good but for "lovely". Jesus called it lovely.
Someone said, many Christians live a life of missed opportunities. We want to make a commitment but we postpone it. We are caught in the busy-ness of life, but we need to take the opportunities that matter. Let’s not miss opportunities.
Q. what would you like to be remembered for in God’s kingdom?
This woman offered something precious. The disciples saw it as a waste but Jesus saw it as beautiful. Jesus said that until the gospel is preached,(v 13) this woman’s work will be remembered. He immortalized this act. what a legacy!!!God doesn’t have grandchildren. He only has sons and daughters. He is not looking for a perfume. He is looking for our hearts. To give our hearts as a living sacrifice, pure, holy and accepted in God’s sight. Let us be sons and daughters who offer something to Jesus and we will hear Him say well done good and faithful servant.What will you be remembered by?