Extravagant Giving

April 6, 2017

Mark 14:3-9

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 

4Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 

6″Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” 

Extravagant Giving

The story presents us with an example of a woman that gave extravagantly to express to the lover of her soul the depth of her love, appreciation and commitment to Him.  Some saw this as a waste.  Some thought it should be sold and given to the poor.  Some were offended that such a woman as this woman used to be would even dare to approach Jesus in such a forward and unconventional way.  

Should she have sold this extravagant perfume and given it to the poor?  Sure that would have been a noble and worthy gesture.  Should we give to the poor?  Of course the Lord honors that and cares deeply for the needy, the widow and orphans.  But this woman brought a higher level of giving than even that.  This was an expression of physically anointing Jesus with the precious incense of His presence and love that filled her heart.  It was the deepest expression of praise and worship she knew how to give as she anointed Him and wiped His feet with her hair and tears.  It was an anointing of the King of Kings, the High Priest of our confession to enter into the Holy of Holies for us, ever renting the veil of separation for us to enter in.  It was the sacrifice most acceptable to the Lord, that of a broken and contrite heart.  He did not despise such an offering, but highly favored, honored and defended the woman.  What she had done was unique and significant above all other offerings.  She had demonstrated extravagant giving by giving her richest possession to express the treasure of life and relationship that Christ had placed within her heart.

Many of us give the Lord our due diligence, tithes and offering.  Many of us are very lax about doing even that. How can we have the heart of this woman?  How can we be extravagant givers that can some how express the gratitude we should feel for the eternal life and hope Jesus has placed within our hearts through the sacrifice of His mortal life for our sin and separation from the Father?  All that we have, all that we are and all that we are ever destined to be, we owe to our Jesus.  How can we find it in our lives to be extravagant givers?




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