In all four Gospels, we are told of the woman with the alabaster flask who broke it and poured out the expensive ointment on Jesus. Some of the disciples who saw what happened thought, ‘what a waste’, since the ointment was said to cost more than 300 denarii (Mark 14:5), which was equivalent to a year’s labour’s wage. In today’s value, this ointment could be worth about £20,000 which is the average UK’s labourer’s salary.
This ointment was not only expensive, but it must have been precious to this woman. However, in comparison to Christ, the ointment was of less value and worth to her. Pouring it out on him was an expression of her love and appreciation of him. Pouring it out on him was an outward expression that in Christ, she has found far more greater riches (Ephesians 3:8) than the worth of the ointment. Pouring it out on him was an expression of her commitment to the Lord, not just in words but also in sacrificial deeds.
The reality is, we all have our own ‘alabaster flask’ that is precious to us. Perhaps it’s your comfort, your time, your work, your money, your plans, or even a particular sin you have not submitted to the Lord. Whatever it is, the question to ponder on is: How does that measure to loving and serving Jesus?
Is that ‘alabaster flask’ so precious that you perhaps can’t commit to coming to church? Is it so precious that you can’t commit to serving? Is it so precious that financial giving doesn’t feature in your monthly budget, and if it does, its perhaps the least of your outgoings? Is it so precious that you can’t find time to pray, read God’s word and fellowship with others?
This beautiful act is the woman’s own choice, and while the Lord has not asked us to use everything on Him, the passage speaks of our willingness to render everything to Christ, and to sacrifice and go beyond the norm for Him. Therefore, whatever your ‘alabaster flask’ is, be challenged to pour it out on Christ and for the sake of the Kingdom.