March 21, 2016

Two Reactions to Jesus

Matthew 26:6-16

Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.

—  Matthew 26:10

There were many reactions to Jesus during the last week of his life, but two stand out: the devotion of a woman and the betrayal of a disciple.

The woman who anointed Jesus was probably Mary, Lazarus’s sister (see John 12:3). She was a good friend of Jesus. She loved her Lord. She showed it by taking a jar of expensive perfume and pouring it on Jesus as an act of love and devotion. One gospel says that this costly perfume “could have been sold for more than a year’s wages” (Mark 14:5). But for this devoted follower, nothing was too much for Jesus. 

Contrast her devotion with Judas’s betrayal of the Lord. For three years Judas had been a disciple of Jesus. He experienced the closest relationship to Christ that anyone could hope for. But he looked for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to the authorities. For what? Thirty pieces of silver—about four months’ wages.

If a price tag could be put on Jesus, how much would he be worth to you? Do you know how much you’re worth to him? Jesus said his anointing with perfume was preparation for his burial. Judas’s betrayal set the wheels of Jesus’ death in motion. How much does Jesus love us? Enough to die in our place. Knowing that you mean so much to him, how will you express your love in return?

Lord, during this holy week we echo the words of a hymn: “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” May we love you with the deepest devotion. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

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