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Breaking the Alabaster Jar
3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4 There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her…
…6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume…
…4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
Alabaster, a vessel to hold ointment or perfume, so-called because it was made of alabaster stone, a valuable marble found in Thebes in Egypt, in Damascus in Syria, as well as in Italy and Cappadocia.
The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament
Nard, spikenard, a plant that grows in India, the root of which is very small and slender and which puts forth a long thin stalk with several ears or spikes at ground level, thus giving it the name of spikenard. A highly prized, very aromatic oil or ointment was extracted from it. In the NT, we have the ointment of pure spikenard, indicating that it is most precious.
She Did What She Could (Mark 14:8a)
The Lord does not expect the impossible from any of us.
2 Corinthians 8:12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.
Her gift to Jesus represented sacrifice. (300 denarii = Approx. 10 months wages)
Do not be surprised when devotion to the Lord is met with derision. (And the criticism stated may not be the true reason)
She Gave the Lord Her Very Best
Do we give our best, or our leftovers?
Malachi 1:8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.
Her Motive Was Beautiful
Motive may not be everything, but it is very important!
She acted not from desire for any personal gain, but only out of love for the Lord.
This was not the fulfillment of a requirement, it was free-will offering at it’s highest.
She Acted While Opportunity Existed
Give Me The Roses While I Live
Wonderful things of folks are said When they have passed away Roses adorn the narrow bed Over the sleeping clay
Give me the roses while I live Trying to cheer me on Useless are flowers that you give After the soul is gone
Kind words are useless when folks lie Cold in a narrow bed Don't wait till death to speak kind words Now should the words be said
Let us not wait to do good deeds Till they have passed away Now is the time to sow good seeds While here on earth we stay
Where Can We Break Our Alabaster Jar?
We can show appreciation for loving deeds done and kindnesses shown…
In the home and toward family.
To the elderly.
Encourage teachers, song and prayer leaders, and one another mutually.
Keep not thy kisses for the dead cold brow,
Nor touch of affection for hands that are still
Hast thou and alabaster box? Break it now;
Encourage some other life’s purpose to fill.
Romans 12:3-8 (NLT)
3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other…
…6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well…
…8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
he day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
Kind words are useless when folks lie Cold in a narrow b