Five lessons from Alabaster jar givers

“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper,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. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 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 v 10-13)

Alabaster jar givers:-

  1. Give out of a heart of deep thankfulness and worship for who Jesus is and what He has done for them. This woman has a story. We don’t know it but clearly Jesus has impacted her life.
  2. Probably don’t understand the full significance of their giving. There are many indications that no one understood about the Messianic prophecies of the cross until after the resurrection so it is a presumption to think that this woman knew. Jesus lets us know that it is possible to give in such a way that this act of worship becomes far more significant than the giver realises.
  3. Change atmospheres. Everyone enjoyed the fragrant perfume, even if they were against her doing it. To give is to bring kindness into the room, it is to bring worship, honour, it is to elevate the receiver above anyone else in the room.
  4. Her giving offended others who hadn’t given like this. They were not thinking of the poor. They were not thinking of the largeness of her gift. They were thinking of how small or non-existent their own contribution was. Giving not only changes atmospheres but it exposes and brings to the surface the hidden problems of the room.
  5. Teach us that giving and the Gospel go hand in hand. The gospel is God’s gift and it demands the giving of our whole life.

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