Matthew 26:6-13 – You Boys Go On Ahead, I’ve Got To See About This Jesus

Posted: March 28, 2016 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 26:6-13

Mary Anoints Jesus with Perfume

Do you remember when you met the woman of your dreams? That time when simply seeing that person changed your life and you had to meet them at all costs. You would give up anything to approach them and talk to them. My favorite story of this kind is from the movie, Good Will Hunting, when Robin Williams’ character explains to Matt Damon’s character how he met his wife. Both characters, being “Southies” (people from the southside of Boston in those working class neighborhoods), were passionate about the professional sports teams of Boston, particular the Red Sox. Robin Williams’ character was a good bit older than Matt Damon’s but both characters knew about the famous Game 6 of the World Series in Boston between the Mets and the Red Sox. Certainly, it was important game for Red Sox fans as would be any game 6 in the World Series regardless of who is playing. Robin Williams’ character see what would become his future wife come into the bar where he and his friends were having a few beers before big game. After he sees her (and this is shortly before the boys are about to leave for the game), he tosses his tickets on the table and says “Boys, go on to the game, I’ve got to see about a girl!” Who in their right mind would give up Game 6 World Series tickets to see about a girl? That’s nuts, right? I guess it’s not so crazy when you end up married to that person and you are together til your wife’s death as was the case with Robin William’s character in Good Will Hunting. Have you ever been that smitten with someone even before you introduced yourself to them that you would give up tickets to a World Series game 6? Have you gone all out to impress your girlfriend or wife? Have you ever done something for her that other people would consider incredibly and stupidly extravagant (it doesn’t have to be monetarily extravagant to be extravagant). We may do stupid stuff to get a girl’s attention or to show her that getting to know them is our highest priority.

 

That dedication, that singular focus, that kind of adoration where you are willing to risk anything, do anything, give up something valuable, is what I think of when I think of Mary, the sister of Lazarus, in this scene in Matthew 26:6-13, where we read

 

6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

 

8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

 

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

 

Here, we see that Mary lavishes an expensive perfume on Jesus that served to anoint Jesus. It was her way of recognizing that it may be the last time she would see him. She may have known and heard of the rumblings about all the conflict that Jesus was causing with the establishment. Maybe, she did not know that and was just anointing Him as her king. But one thing is for sure that we know she loved Jesus. Remember, back when Jesus came to visit at their home. Her sister, Martha, became indignant with her because Mary was not helping her perform the women’s duties and sitting with the men listening to Jesus. Mary threw caution and custom to the wind when it came to Jesus. If Mary had tickets to Game 6 of the World Series and Jesus walked in, she would have tossed the tickets on the table and said, “you ladies go ahead, I have got to see about the Son of God.” I think that it is that passion we will talk about today and how others sometimes get so wrapped up in the work of the church that they forget the passion for it.

 

One of the misinterpretations of this passage is that we are not to help the poor. Jesus is not saying that at all. He is saying that no matter how hard we try there are going to be poor among us and we are called biblically in both the Old and New Testament to care for the poor. Jesus is simply saying that our busy-ness with the things that were are commanded to do by God’s Word should not become a burden to us. They should be done with joy and thanksgiving. We should not let church work become so the main focus that we forget why we are doing it. Yes, there will be poor that we always will have to reach as part of being a devoted follower of Christ. But meeting their needs should not become our god to the point that we forget to worship God. There are those who become so consumend with the work of the church that we forget to worship God. We get so engrossed, for whatever reason, with the work of the church that we forget why we are doing it. The work becomes the god. For some, it is simply to be seen doing the work of the church. For others, we just get so wrapped up in doing stuff that we get burned out on doing all the right things because we have lost our passion and our focus. We have lost the love reason that we do what we do as Christians, to give honor and glory and love to our Savior because of what He has done for us and in us. The disciples had become so engrossed in being part of this radical new ministry of Jesus Christ. The ministry became more important to them than the Jesus of the ministry. I am sure their motives were noble (well, maybe, except for Judas), and they truly felt that the money represented by the oil could have been better used helping the poor. Jesus recognized that Mary’s lavishing of oil upon Him was an act of love and worship.

 

It is often the same with us today in a couple of ways. First, we can get so busy with do our checklist of church to-do’s that we forget why we are doing what we are doing. We do stuff for the church because everybody else is doing it. We do stuff for the church because we want to be seen doing it. Sometimes, we forget that why we are running around helping out everywhere we can on Sunday is because we love our Savior Jesus Christ and we want those who come to our church to be able to do so without distraction or even noticing that there is hard work being done so that they can worship without distraction. It could be the difference in someone knowing Christ or not coming to know Christ. When our hard work is done to give glory to God then it is done with the right frame of mind and soul. When we do all this hard work so that people will notice or we can develop some martyr complex about not being recognized for our hard work, then we have got it all wrong. Let not the business of the church become our focus. Let the business of the church flow out of our love for Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

 

Second, sometimes we get stingy with our money when it comes to our church. We hold back for the wrong reasons. The church is not doing enough for me. The church is not doing enough for my kids. I don’t agree with the church spending my money on that project or program. I am not giving because the preacher said something that I did not agree with. You know the drill! We all have heard it before. We want to use our money or the lack thereof to push the church in the direction that we personally want it to go. That’s so unbiblical it is scary. We are commanded by God to worship Him with the firstfruits of our labors. It has nothing to do with whether you like the preacher or not. It has nothing to do with whether you have a program to suit a need you have. It has nothing to do with whether your kids are being coddled or not. Our giving to the church is about worshiping God. It is about being obedient to the commands of God. It is about loving God. It is about entrusting God with the use of the money given. It is first and foremost about giving glory to God for the talents and resources that He has bestowed upon us. It is about worship.

 

Mary worshiped God with complete abandon. She bucked the tradition of the women being in the other room. She lavished praise on Jesus with abandon. She knew that Jesus was the Son of God and she was willing to risk it all to worship Him. How much do you throw caution to the wind when it comes to worshiping the Lord? Do you lavish Him with praise through making Him a part of everything you do and every thought you have? Do you make Jesus a priority in your life or is there a Game 6 in your life that is more important than meeting with Jesus? Do you arrange your financial life such that you can worship God with your firstfruits? Do you or are you following God’s calling on your life or is there a Game 6 that is more important than that? What is it that you are placing before worshiping God with abandon? Let us be like Mary! Let us worship Jesus like it is the most important thing in the world to us? Let us be about Jesus like Robin Williams’ character in Good Will Hunting was about meeting his future wife – where we would put Jesus as a priority over even the most satisfying of personal pursuits. Jesus comes first. You boys go ahead. I got to worship my Jesus.

 

Amen and Amen.

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