Queen in Gold
“What am I about to do?” she asked herself looking down at the alabaster jar in her shaking hands. The possibility of rejection was very real. She had a reputation for being a sinner and was definitely not welcome in the house of Pharisee.
She took a deep breath and walked into a room full of men, carrying her most precious possession – her future, her security. Trying to ignore the cruel stares directed her way; she searched the room for Jesus. He was all she was there for. It was all because of Him.
She couldn’t help herself; tears were already streaming down her face. This wasn’t really part of the plan; she was hoping to be a bit more composed. But standing face to face with Him somehow exposed the burden of the sin she was carrying. It’s like everything about her broke open in the same way she broke the jar of expensive perfume. She fell at His feet and in spite of her past and the harsh comments by some of the men in the room; she felt like she belonged. He wanted her there.
(See Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-8).
Something about this story always leaves me a little bit speechless. Would I have had the boldness to do what she did? Or am I merely one of the bystanders who’d consider her act of worship a waste?
What can we learn from this woman?
True worship is vulnerable
Everything about Mary’s act toward Jesus was one of vulnerability. She rudely interrupted a dinner party she hadn’t been invited to; threw expensive perfume over the guest of honor and washed His feet with her tears. She also then dried His feet with her hair. Culturally women kept their hair covered in public, because of the beauty thereof. Taking off her hair covering in a room full of men would’ve been considered a shameful act.
The disciples, on the other hand, immediately found fault in the woman’s act and tried to impress Jesus by saying the money of the perfume should’ve rather been given to the poor. Jesus isn’t that impressed with our attempts to do the right thing. He longs for pure and honest worship.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” – John 4:23
Living a life of worshiping God is going to ask you to sometimes step out in vulnerability – especially towards Him. Shame is this ugly thing that was never intended to be part of creation. Adam and Eve walked around naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). Then sin came and they hid themselves, trying to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:7-10). But God asks us to open our hearts to Him and be real. He doesn’t want our attempts to impress Him. He wants us just as we are. For when we come to Him as we are, we’re giving Him the opportunity to truly heal us.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord.
True worship is giving everything
Apart from being completely vulnerable, the woman came to Jesus with the very best she had. The alabaster jar of perfume was worth about a year’s wages. We don’t know why the woman had this jar, but we can assume she didn’t just have a few standing around in her house. This jar was likely a financial investment or family inheritance. It was something extremely valuable. However she attained it and whatever its intended use might have been; the woman decided to pour out the entire jar over Jesus.
But in that moment the woman chose not to look at value from a worldly perspective. She chose to see Jesus for who He is and chose to honor Him for that. She chose to give her very best.
When we start looking at our lives there are often so many areas we’re willing to settle for “good enough” instead of “very best.”
True worship is bringing your heart
What I love about this story is that Mary didn’t only bring her best. She’s not this worldly idea of the perfect woman dressed in a beautiful gown coming to pour expensive perfume over Jesus. No, it’s a story about a sinful woman, who’s crying and appears to be a little bit of an emotional mess. She comes to bring Jesus her very best, but at the same time she also brings the very worst of herself.
Worship is not about being perfect, it’s about coming as you are.
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’
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About the blog
Queen in Gold is a blog for the feminine heart. I hope to inspire other women to stand up in their God-given identity.
My name is Riani.
I love flowers, board games, arty markets, food, dancing, music and spring....