There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
Jesus sits with His disciples in the house of Simon the leper. They eat a meal while talking about spiritual truths. Suddenly, a woman interrupts their discussion.
Is this another sick person in need of healing? Or perhaps a mother of a demon-possessed child asking Jesus for deliverance? She must be here for some important reason if she's willing to interrupt their lunch.
All eyes open wide as the woman pours very precious ointment on Jesus' head. Christ tells the disciples later it was for His burial, but I don't think the woman realized this at the time. She poured the ointment on His head to worship Him, to show her love for Him.
Did those around the table join her in worship? No. They were too busy figuring out how much the ointment could have been sold for. "What a waste! We could have sold that ointment and given the money to the poor!" (See verse nine.)
Worship is a waste?
How sad it is when we get so focused on service that we ignore worship of God. Remember Martha? She was so busy serving that she forgot the one needful thing. Her sister, Mary, remembered and sat at Jesus' feet. (Luke 10:38–42)
Is giving to the poor important? Of course. But if we do this and neglect worship of God, we are forgetting why we serve in the first place. Meeting people's financial needs is only part of the puzzle. We should want to tell them about a God who loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us.
If God gave us so much, how could worshiping Him ever be a waste? If worship were a waste, much of heaven would be wasted time!
"O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker" (Psalm 95:6).
(If this devotional has blessed you, please pass it on.)
From a fellow traveler just passing through,
Jason's Music: http://www.soundclick.com/jasonmitchener