Breaking the alabaster jar

By Dave Henning / August 30, 2014

“When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume.”- Luke 6:37

In Chapter 7 (“Crash the Party”) of All In, author Mark Batterson quips that, if ever there was an oxymoron, it had to be Pharisee party.  Pastor Batterson even imagines that the small talk was about Sabbath law and that the party favors were phylacteries (boxes containing Scripture verses, worn on the forehead and arm)!

The party was mercifully interrupted by the sinful woman with her alabaster jar of perfume.  The author notes that her act of anointing Jesus “ranks as one of the most beautiful and meaningful statements of faith in all of Scripture.”  She risked what little reputation she had left to anoint Jesus.

Pastor Batterson sees the alabaster jar as representing the sinful woman’s past guilt and future hope.  The jar was symbolic of her professional identity as well as her financial security.  It was her most precious possession.  Breaking that jar was the sinful woman’s way of burning her ships.  She was through masking the stench of sin with the scent of perfume.

Mark concludes that there comes a moment in our lives when we need to “fall full-weight on the grace of God.”  Our sinfulness is the only thing that qualifies us.  Our act of obedience can turn into someone else’s miracle.  Although obedience often comes with a steep price tag, the warranty is out of this world!

Today’s question: What alabaster jar (job, accomplishments, future goals) do you need to offer to Jesus?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Pharisees and Prophets”

Coming Tuesday: the new Short Meditation, “The Finch Whisperer”

About the author

Dave Henning

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