Wasting Your Gift

Mark 14: 3-9 (the message)   “Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper.  While he was eating dinner, a woman came up carrying a bottle of very expensive perfume.  Opening the bottle, she poured it over his head.  Some of the guests became furious am0ng themselves.  “That’s criminal!  A sheer waste!  This perfume could have been sold for well over a year’s wages and handed out to the poor.”  They swelled up with anger, nearly bursting with indignation over her.  But Jesus said, “Let her alone.  Why are you giving her a hard time?  She has just done something wonderfully significant for me.  You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives.  Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them.  Not so with  me.  She did what she could when she could–she pre-anointed my body for burial.  And you can be sure that wherever in the world the Message is preached, what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly.”

I love, love, love this scripture.  I like to picture it….Jesus is having dinner at Simon’s house, this guy that was a leper until Jesus healed him.  Now they are having dinner and while He is eating this woman comes in and begins to pour this bottle of really expensive perfume (a year’s worth of money) on Jesus’ head!  That sets some of the guests off!  At first you may think…well, they have a point!  They were thinking of the poor!  Now, I am NOT a Bible scholar and I haven’t been to Bible college.  I am just an ordinary person so this is just my thought….I don’t think they were angry on behalf of the poor.  I think they were angry that she was “wasting herself” on Jesus.  Wasting as in she spared nothing, not even what made perfect sense and was “fair” to keep for herself.  Who would have blamed her…she was a woman and although we don’t know how she came to have this treasured perfume we know it could have supported her for over a year had she sold it.  The part of this scripture that popped out at me is “she did what she could when she could.”  She gave what she had to give, she did what she could do…she probably didn’t know that pouring out that perfume on Jesus would be annointing His body for burial in the upcoming days, but Jesus knew it.  I think she so adored and was grateful to this man who had obviously impacted her life that she probably looked around (especially as a woman back then) and thought what can I give Him?  What can I do?  See, it didn’t matter one bit to her if the others in the room understood what she was doing.  She had found what she could do for Him….what she could give.  It didn’t have to be the same or look the same as the offerings of those around her, it didn’t have to make sense to them….and if they became angry because her extravagant worship stepped on their toes so be it!  I believe we all have something to give Him… a way to worship and love on Him.  Maybe you are great with children, a genious with numbers, have great leadership skills.  Maybe you can play an instrument or sing,  paint, draw or write.  Maybe you have a servant’s heart to care for the sick or clean buildings/homes,  maybe you are willing to give away whatever material posessions you have to those in need.  Maybe you have more than enough income and can support those on the front lines of tragedy.  Maybe you have extra time in your season of life and can spend it in prayer as God lays people/situations on your heart.  It’s endless, really.  As you consider your life, remember this woman who “did what she could when she could.”  There was an amazing purpose in what she gave…our gifts to Him don’t need to look like anyone else’s or they won’t serve their purpose.  Pour out your gift on Jesus and let Him multiply your worship into the lives of those around you.  And if you read this and still don’t think you have a gift,  I encourage you to just keep walking toward Jesus, step by step.  The better you know Him the better you will know yourself and what you were made to give.  The irony is that wasting yourself, pouring out your gift,  will fill you up.

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