“She has done a very beautiful thing to me.”
This story is anything but new: In the days preceding His death, Mary of Bethany breaks open a jar of expensive perfume and anoints the Son of God. Jesus says that it was an appropriate preparation for His burial, but all of the onlookers were in a dire state of protest. The formality of the dinner was of no consequence, neither was the “waste” of the expensive perfume. No, according to Jesus Christ, she had done a beautiful thing.
This illustration of pouring oneself out at the feet of our Savior is a running theme in the New Testament. Paul tells us that we have many treasures among jars of clay and that we must be poured out for the sake of the gospel. We are also to be broken and poured out for our Lord as He was broken and poured out for us. Our lives as believers are our most valuable treasures; they are never to be a waste. We are to be fragrant offerings.
I am all for being poured out for the sake of the cross, but sometimes, I find myself tempted to feel as if my service for the Lord is nothing but a “waste” of time. Like the act of Mary, my service almost always appears to be bearing no visible fruit. Like the onlookers at her party, no one is particularly impressed with my acts of service.
Thank God that we can rest in the assurance of our incentives. When we pour ourselves out - for sheer devotion to our Lord and no other cause - then it can never be a wasted effort. This is the kind of sacrifice that pleases Him most. It is the kind of service that He asks of us. A fragrant aroma to Him, a beautiful thing.