In Matthew 26 we read that one day, when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon, 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 the 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.”
One of the poignant aspects of this passage is the lavish worship of the woman. It wasn’t a man. It wasn’t a child. It was a woman.
Which is not to say that men and children can’t worship lavishly, too. But this time, it was a woman.
Aren’t you glad that Jesus invites women to worship Him? He doesn’t shun us. He doesn’t see us as “less than.” He doesn’t tell us to be quiet and go away.
In fact, many of the positive interactions Jesus had in His ministry were with women. The woman at the well, the adulterous woman, the bleeding woman, the women who first saw His resurrected body, this worshipping woman…
Beloved sister, you matter to Jesus. You are significant to Him. You are particularly special to Him, and your worship is particularly special, too.
But did you notice what the disciples called her worship?
They called it a waste.
I wonder if it made her pause. After all, they were His disciples. From all appearances, they were close to Him. They knew Him. From the sheer volume of time they had spent with Him, they should’ve known Him better than anyone else. Jesus often kept them close to Him while He sent the crowds away.
I’m sure they thought they knew Him, too.
But they still had so much to learn.
“Waste”…Too lavish. Too costly. Too much.
Did she wonder if He would agree with them? Were they right? Was it waste?
How her heart must have soared when Jesus spoke:
“She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
The disciples thought it would have been better for the woman to sell the ointment and give the money to the poor. Surely that’s a noble gesture. Admirable. Even righteous.
But if giving to the poor was just noble or admirable or righteous, that would’ve been the real waste.
Service that doesn’t flow from lavish love is a waste.
Because even if it earns the praise of the onlookers, it’s meaningless to the One who really matters.
I wonder…could I be “accused” of such lavish worship of my Lord that it might be called waste? Lavish time? Lavish resources? Lavish commitment? Lavish service?
How about lavish tears over my sin? Lavish sorrow over the depraved hearts of mankind? Lavish shouts of joy when I hear of one who receives my Savior as her own? Lavish singing at the top of my lungs, proclaiming my love for my Lord?
College student, resist the lie that tells you that years of study preparing for decades of life spent in ministry to your Lord is a waste.
Dear friend, refuse entry to the lie that says long moments of solitude with your Savior could be better spent elsewhere – that time spent like this is a waste.
Fellow believer, rebuke the lie that says your money is better off in an account somewhere earning interest. That a small offering to the Lord is enough. That too much would be waste.
And can we all just reject the lie that says raising my hands to the Lord in praise as I’m raising my voice to the Lord in song while tears flow down my cheeks is too much?
Because when it comes to true worship, “enough” isn’t possible.
Much less too much.
No matter what the onlookers might say.