Worshippers Do Not Do It on the Cheap

Posted on June 8, 2016.

Read Matthew 26:1-13

      “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing,” King David famously proclaimed (2 Samuel 24:24).  The woman in our passage was of the same mind.  To the disciples, her act of worship was shockingly extravagant.  John 12:25 tells us that Judas, whom we can safely surmise was as good with figures as he was bad with money, evaluated the worth of the perfume at 300 denarii, the better part of a working man’s annual income.  But all the disciples saw it as a foolish expenditure of resources.  “Why this waste?,” they all asked (26:8).   

      But what was to the disciples as a terrible waste was to Jesus “a beautiful thing” (26:10).  “She has done it to prepare me for burial,” said Jesus (26:12).  Did she realize that Jesus would very soon lay down his life as her Passover lamb?  Perhaps, but even if she did not, Jesus recognized true worship when he saw it. 

      There is a place in the Christian life for the extravagant, lavish, over-the-top act of personal sacrifice as an act of worship.  It can’t be done every day or week, of course, or even every year, and it should never be done in order to show off.  But it pleases the Lord to honor him with what is for you a significant sacrifice (for one woman it was only a penny, Mark 12:44).  Don’t let others know if you can help it – there is a good chance they would advise against it, with wise and moral reasoning.  But Jesus will see it for what it is.  He will see your heart of worship.  And he will reward.