Nard was a favorite perfume of the time, extremely expensive. It was imported from India in sealed alabaster containers that were opened only on very special occasions.
Imagine taking your most precious possession–worth a year’s salary–and pouring it out in a moment of time. The treasure is expendable and irrecoverable. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Imagine the overwhelming love and gratitude that would motivate you to do this.
Think what this woman’s act must have meant to Jesus. He was about to die in excruciating pain and public humiliation, condemned by a jeering crowd. A close friend would betray Him. All His followers would abandon Him.
But now, in the face of all this, one woman poured herself out to Him in a single act of lavish, unselfish love. How moved and refreshed He must have been!
The critics were insensitive to what had happened. They didn’t see love, though they masked their response in concern for the poor. They saw only materialism.
Money and material goods are not at the center of life. They are not at the center of the church. Love is at the very heart of God. God is love. He calls us to be love as well.
Jesus, You have done more for me than I can ever express or repay. Help me to be more lavish and less calculating, less selfish in my love for You.