A City & A Woman
A woman came with a special sealed jar. It contained very expensive perfume made out of pure nard. She broke the jar open and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head.4 Some of the people there became angry. They said to one another, “Why waste this perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s pay. The money could have been given to poor people.” So they found fault with the woman.6 “Leave her alone,” Jesus said. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me... 9 What I’m about to tell you is true. What she has done will be told anywhere the good news is preached all over the world. It will be told in memory of her.”
This week, we continued to learn about being light in a dark world, among people and places hiding in the shadows of death. As we mentioned in weeks prior, Naphtali and Zebulun were cities that, through neglecting God and falling into sin, began dwelling in darkness. However, when Jesus came to them with His light, with the good news of the gospel and his love and call to repentance, these cities were able to completely change for the better and become epicenters of Jesus’ ministry on earth.
We may wonder, how could Jesus bring about such a powerful change in these cities? He did not come with an attitude of judgement and condemnation, but with a message of hope and forgiveness.
Contrast this with the attitudes of Pharisees. They made religion difficult for the people, as a tool to hurt and condemn, rather than to advocate for repentance. As a result, they did not bring about change among the people, but rather stirred up fear. Similarly when we approach people with an attitude of pride, judgement, and legalism, we cannot expect to see change because we are not going about it the way Christ would want us to. We do not see Jesus kingdom come in our lives and in the places we minister to, because we do not live by kingdom principles.
Jesus approach is again seen with a woman who came to Jesus, and poured perfume on his feet as an act of gratitude of praise to Him. While the Pharisees observed the event with judgement in their eyes, Jesus not only accepted her offering, but made a beautiful promise to her: that wherever the gospel was preached, she would be remembered. Jesus made it a point to recognize those who Pharisees and the people rejected. He made it a point to give hope to individuals and cities who lived in despairs. He brought light to places of darkness, and He expects us to do the same.
Pastor Bethel Johnson, Pastor Jose Paulose