Matthew 26: 6-16 6 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. 7 While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. 8 The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. 9 “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” 14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests 15 and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
We’ve made it Wednesday of Holy Week. The anticipation of it all makes my heart flutter. Reading through scripture, reminding myself of those last few days that Jesus walked the earth, fully human yet full man, is overwhelming. On Wednesday, they were busy preparing for the first Lord’s Supper. Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, the Leper. Simon could have been recognized for many things, but his unfortunate skin disease was what people remembered. While there, a woman approached Jesus. She had an alabaster jar of very expensive fragrant oil. It was likely worth at least a year’s wages. While Jesus was at the table reclining to eat, she poured this fragrant perfume over His head. She used the whole bottle!
What a beautiful site this must have been to behold. The woman was giving all that she had to honor Jesus. He saw the beauty in her actions, and He received her gift gladly. Sometimes we look over the beauty in scripture. God created beauty for our eyes to behold and our minds to enjoy. He created beautiful sunrises and sunsets. He didn’t have to put those brilliant colors in the sky, but He did. He created spring time with flowers of brightly colored hues to decorate the landscape. He produced the brilliant color changes of fall. He didn’t have to do any of that, but He did. God appreciates beauty, and we should take the time to appreciate the beauty He has blessed us with each and every day.
Yes, Jesus saw the beauty in this woman’s actions, but the disciples didn’t. They were indignant. They saw the waste of this valuable oil. They suggested that this could have been sold for a great deal of money and be given to the poor. But Jesus recognized the beauty in the woman’s actions. He told the disciples that the poor would always be with them, but He would not. He saw the act of the pouring of the fragrant oil onto Him as preparing His body for burial. He saw the beauty in this woman’s actions. Jesus knew that the day was drawing near, and He praised this woman. He saw the beauty.
Matthew then moves quickly from the woman anointing Christ to the traitor. Judas Iscariot, one of the trusted Twelve, went to the chief priests and sold out our Savior. He asked what they would be willing to give him for Jesus if he turned Jesus over to them. They weighed out 30 pieces of silver, and Judas accepted the bribe. From that moment on, he began looking for his opportunity to betray our Lord.
What a contrast. The woman gave all that she had to anoint Jesus, and one of His trusted disciples took a mere 30 pieces of silver to betray Him. One piece of silver was approximately a day’s wage. Therefore, Judas betrayed Jesus for about a one month salary. That is really not that much if you look at the big picture of what it cost Judas later for he later took his own life.
It had to happen. Jesus even knew that Judas would betray Him. He knew His time was coming. It was all part of God’s plan. Today, I ask that you look around and seek and find the beauty that is surrounding you. Open your eyes to the goodness that is still here because of our good God. We will still see sin. It is there. It’s been around since the fall of man, but praise God for our Savior. But God! He brings beauty from ashes. He understands us. He knows that we will make mistakes. Yes, my friends, He already knows everything. He knows our hearts. He knows our sins. But most importantly, if we give ourselves completely to Him, He forgives us. He loves you so much! Look for the beauty of the Savior in the great act of salvation today.