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Alabaster Jar Lesson 1: Empty your alabaster jar!

Rev. Enoch Thompson| September 2, 2023 | Matthew 26:6-13

KEY VERSE:

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. Matthew 26:7 (NIV)


MESSAGE:

We all have things that we value, and which we keep securely. Such was the alabaster jar of expensive perfume of the woman we read about in Matthew 26:6-13. What we do with our worth and wealth is the subject of this devotional.

First, we must note the fact that the jar of perfume belonged to the woman. Our lives are ours as a gift of God, and at our disposal, and we can decide what to do or not do with it.

Secondly, we must understand that our lives are very precious, and no amount can purchase it. The most expensive thing we have is life, and what we do with our lives is also left to our choices.

In the third place, we can choose to retain our rich perfume of the life God has given us or release it for the benefit of others and to the glory of His Name. The woman in our text chose to release her perfume, and that on the head of the Master. That is the crux of the matter. She poured out her precious perfume, and on the head of the Lord! Some students of Scripture think that this woman in this narrative is Mary the sister of Lazarus, who is also called Mary Magdalene, the same as the woman who poured perfume on the feet of the Lord in Luke 7:36-50. In that passage, she poured her perfume on the feet of the Saviour, but here she pours her perfume on His head. She must have heard the comment of the Lord to His host, “⁴⁶You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. ⁴⁷Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Luke 7:46-47 (NIV). Whether it was the same woman or two distinct women, we can learn the lesson of progression in our worship of the Master. The anointing moved from the feet to the head of the Lord Jesus!

We may come initially at a distanced closeness at the beginning of our walk with the Master, but we must grow from pouring perfume at His feet to pouring perfume on His head. From the comment in Luke cited above, the Lord was pointing to the possibility of, and calling for the practice of greater intimacy with Himself. Perfume at the feet is welcome, but perfume on the head is desired by the King of the Kingdom.


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

Are you aware of the precious perfume, the sweet worshipper within you? Have you drawn close to the feet, nay the head of the willing waiting Saviour, to receive the fragrance of your worship yet? “Come to the Saviour, make no delay.” He awaits our worship; we must empty our jars, our lives, and pour our perfume, our life of worship, not on the floor of human acclamation or at the feet in beginning faith, but on the head of the worshipful Jesus, the fullest expression of our acknowledgement of Him and our allegiance to Him alone always.


PRAYER:

Lord, thank you that you welcome me to worship you in deeper and deeper intensity and intimacy. I want to let out of my alabaster jar, such sweet perfume as will let the world know that you are my King. May your Church be a truly worshipping Church. May we grow from pouring perfume on the ground, and at your feet, to pouring perfume on your head. For your dear Name’s sake, Amen!

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! _________________________ Daily word study: POURED ON HIS HEAD

The phrase "poured on His head" translates to the Greek words "ἀνέχεεν αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς" (anecheen autou epi tēs kephalēs).

"ἀνέχεεν" (anecheen): This Greek verb means "to pour" or "to pour out." It signifies the action of pouring a liquid from one container to another.

"αὐτοῦ" (autou): This is a possessive pronoun, which means "His" or "His own." In this context, it refers to Jesus.

"ἐπὶ" (epi): This Greek preposition means "on" or "upon."

"τῆς κεφαλῆς" (tēs kephalēs):** This phrase means "the head." It refers to the physical head of a person.


The phrase "poured on His head" captures a deeply symbolic and reverent act of devotion. In the cultural context of that time, anointing someone's head with oil or perfume was a gesture of honour and respect. In this case, the woman's actions go beyond cultural norms; they symbolize her recognition of Jesus as someone of utmost importance and worth.


The act of pouring the expensive perfume on Jesus' head foreshadows His impending death and burial. In the Jewish tradition, anointing the head with oil or perfumed ointment was also associated with preparing a person for burial. Therefore, this woman's action can be seen as an act of worship and an acknowledgement of Jesus' sacrificial mission.


Reflections

What does this woman's act of pouring expensive perfume on Jesus' head teach us about devotion, worship, and recognizing the worthiness of Christ? How can you express your devotion to Jesus in your own life?

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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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