Hello My Name Is… (Week 4) – Woman with Perfume
Hello everyone! Wow, what a week in the Young house. Three birthdays in 7 days. It does mean plenty of cake though! I wonder if they enjoyed cake at the party in the home of Lazarus in the prelude to this week’s verse? The party at Lazarus’s where an unnamed woman steps into the room and pours expensive perfume onto Jesus. This was met with indigence and outrage by the disciples. Our verse this week continues with:
“Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 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: 10 and 13
In last week’s summary and Facebook live discussion Rachel asked the question “why was she included but not named?”. One MM community member suggested that it was intentional to focus our attention on her actions rather than her name. Another MM member reminded us that in a male dominated context, women were rarely given a name. Even her being in the room didn’t make sense. I do wish I knew her background and what had brought her to this point. What was her story that she felt compelled to give such a sacrifice? We’re given a pointer in John 12: 1-3.
It doesn’t make sense…
We’re told that in John 12: 1-3 that this woman is Mary, the sister of Lazarus whom Jesus had brought back from the dead. She had witnessed the power of Jesus. She recognised that she wasn’t anointing Jesus for the benefit of those around her, she was doing it for Jesus. That’s why the disciples found it so hard to make sense of her actions. Sometimes giving to Jesus doesn’t make sense. Before I became a Mum, I was put off by the dirty nappies and an unrelenting tiredness that I saw in others. Being a Mum didn’t make sense to me. One MM member posted about the menial, gross and thankless tasks of being a Mum but encouraged us to remember that these too are “kingdom tasks”. When you really love something, you give your all. Whether it be a full jar of perfume or a full night’s sleep, we give it our all, even when it’s the hardest wrench. I bet it wasn’t easy for her to give the perfume away, but she sensed that this was her moment. In this busy season of being a Mummy, we might not be able to smash vases for Jesus, but we know a deeper level of sacrifice that comes with being a Mum. Let Jesus remind you this week of the daily sacrifices you make and turn these to him in praise. Let him show you that each one of these “kingdom tasks” is just as important as giving your expensive perfume. Maybe take a moment to spray yourself with perfume and let it remind you that, like the woman in the story knew, the perfume we spray on ourselves fades but if I put my gift, my sacrifice onto Jesus it will last forever.
We’re jumping back into the Old Testament this week.
“She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.” 2 Kings 4 9-10
Rachel’s away this week so I’ll be hosting our Monday night Facebook Live at 9pm. Do join me. I’ve never read 2 Kings so let’s meet to unpack this verse together!