Matthew 26: 6-13 NRSV

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.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

An unidentified woman anoints Jesus at the time of the Passover using a very expensive perfume. The disciples criticize the woman because of the cost of the anointment perfume without considering how it is being used. Jesus’ response is to look at the use and purpose of the perfume versus the cost.  She is preparing Him for burial. Jesus praises her for what she has chosen to focus on, Him. He also states that the poor will always be with you.

When you are doing the work of the Lord, is the focus on Jesus or on the cost?  Do we choose to focus on Jesus first with our work?  Is Jesus saying that the poor are not important?  No, I do not think so.  I believe the context of this passage relates to the fact Jesus should always be our main focus. We will always have the poor to care for, but Jesus must remain our focus.

As we live our daily lives, how do we keep Jesus as the focus?   In our daily life, choice is a very enormous and serious responsibility. We make choices every day that show our love and devotion to Jesus. Will the choices we have made reflect our love and devotion to Jesus first or will it be the cost?

As I look at my life during Lent and after Lent, I will evaluate how my choices keep Jesus as my focus first so that others can see Jesus in my life.  This passage reveals that Jesus is preparing to die on the cross to pay the price for all of our sins.  It is my responsibility to make the choices that glorifies Him and helps me to walk with Him every day.

The passage also tells us that we will always have the poor to care for. As I do the work of the Lord, I must keep the focus on Jesus.  I believe that those whom I interact with will see Jesus if He is the focus.

Prayer: Dear God, I give you thanks for the gift of Jesus Christ in my life.  I pray that my choices will always reflect Jesus as my focus and at the center of my life in the work I do? 

David Lex

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