The Unnamed Woman with Perfume

The Unnamed Woman with Perfume

6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Matthew 26:6-13

Had I been one of the original disciples, I probably would have made the same argument they did. “She spent how much on that??”

Even though this story is, in fact, told around the world, nobody knows the woman’s name.

This woman saw Jesus for who He was clearer than many of us. The Holy Spirit had revealed to her His significance and impressed upon her the need to pay a lot of money for perfume.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard Jesus’ reply to the disciples as a justification for not helping the poor in other situations. He was merely stating the obvious. The disciples would have Jesus with them for a few more days and then He was gone. They certainly would sacrifice quite a bit for the poor and destitute during their lives, but Jesus was making sure they understood that Jesus had noticed the unnamed woman and her act of kindness.

The Bible is full of stories of unsung heroes, people who are nameless but very much a part of the Bible history.

Countless still are the millions of people who have continually performed generous acts of kindness, never expecting a reward, but being fully noticed by Jesus. In that sense, she was the opposite of the religious leaders out to kill Jesus. They wanted power their names known throughout the region; the woman wanted no fame or fortune for her act of love. Such a vivid contrast.

Inasmuch as yesterday’s post was “don’t be those guys, (religious leaders)” this post is “be like her.” It’s a safe place to be. She knew what she was doing, how much it would cost her, so she just did it.

I know that most of you fall into her servant-mindset.

Keep up the great work of a servant.

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