I am doing a talk on the Alabaster Jar as a model for worship soon and I asked for some reflection from a great friend of mind, Terry. She being one of the best creative writers I have ever met. She sent me this and I think its worth the whole world reading...
36Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table.
Well, interestingly, people really can’t agree if this account and the Matthew 14 account are the same woman/event or different. If it is, this is Simon the Leper who has held this dinner for Jesus… more later on that. But, for this section, I think that what’s important is the idea that just because we surround ourselves with Jesus, or the things of Jesus… just because we may “entertain” him does not mean that we are worshipers of Him.
37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house,
I think as worshipers, we have to be curious and willing to listen constantly so that we don’t miss an opportunity to demonstrate our love and devotion for Christ- obviously, she was searching and listening or she would never have know where he would be. She was also bold in her pursuit of worship. She went into unfamiliar, unwelcoming territory. She may have been nervous or humiliated to do this, but we are not aware… we only know that these fears did not stop her. How many times are we nervous about what people around us will think of our way of loving Jesus?
she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
I believe this section to be about a heart prepared and a posture of worship on the way to meet with Christ. She was already weeping before she began to anoint him. (vs 38). I also believe this section demonstrates the beauty and authenticity of using what we have to worship… she used her body (hair), her emotions (tears), her love (kissing his feet), and her resources (the perfume). Many people concentrate on how much the perfume must have been worth, which I think is important, but not the main point. Her vulnerability and openness potentially cost her much more than her monetary sacrifice to Jesus.
39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."
The “church” community, or in this context, the Pharisee’s house… contains many judgmental, anti-worshipers… people who are quick to judge both the character of the worshiper and the way in which he or she worships. Obviously, this Pharisee did not understand the character of Christ. He misunderstood the deity of Christ by not only assuming that Jesus didn’t “know” the woman and her history, but also did not “know” what he (the Pharisee) was thinking and saying. The Pharisee was clueless as usual as to the power of Jesus. I love Jesus’ next response.
hope you agree with me this is great stuff more to follow...
on innovation 3: feeling your way
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