People value things. People value relationships. People value values. Among the different things belonging to us and related to us, we place different values on each item, either consciously or unconsciously.
Some give to charity, as they value the poor over some of their own belongings. Some give their body parts to those in critical need of it to survive. When it comes to God, what place does he have in comparison (or competition) to our other valued possessions?
In Mark 14:3-9, we see an interesting reversal of cultural values. Jesus is hosted at a meal, among people who (mostly) cared about him. Into this midst, comes a woman (often not valued highly), carrying a very valuable item. She brings an overly expensive perfume, which she pours on Jesus’ head.
While the people loved Jesus, this excessive trade, a year’s wage for a momentary exaltation of Jesus, seemed both disproportionate and even sinful! Couldn’t that perfume’s monetary-value be better-spent aiding the poor?
You would think that Jesus would have agreed with your assessment of values. After all, Jesus was humble and did not seek to exalt himself, right? Wrong! Jesus commends this woman’s action and her values. Why?
The woman had recognized in Jesus, the object of greatest value, for which nothing else could stand in comparison to: not her money, not her perfume, not even aiding the poor.
This event becomes symbolic of the preparation of Jesus, for his upcoming death and burial. The cross, central event of all history, would eventually purchase all of humanity from sin and death.
Jesus notes how this act in time and space transcends all charitable deeds. While the poor will always have their time and place to be helped, Jesus’ life on earth will never recur. What she does receives commendation, centuries after her noble act.
Today, you want to ask yourself, “Am I a Christian?” If not, you need to learn to value God and yourself in relation to God. If you are a Christian, how much do you value Jesus Christ? Does he compare favorably with everything you possess? Above all, does he possess you? He is worth it!