This is the second (and last) part of a two-part blog about the exceptional woman with the alabaster flask. You will find the first part in the April Blog, and I suggest that you read Mark 14:3-9 again. We will now zoom into the rest of the qualities of the woman with the alabaster flask.
The third quality of the woman’s ministry that strikes me is the fact that she was 100% focused on Jesus. The posh Pharisee house, the stately guests, the exquisite furniture, and the delicious food flavors did not distract her; even though she was an outsider in more ways than one, and probably of questionable repute. She realized that everything else was a distraction – merely background noise. Sometimes Christians, and especially preachers, can lose sight of this principle and begin to carry out their own personal ministry. They start ministering to the ministry – we simply start working to build and maintain an organization and, in the process, we lose sight of Jesus. Service to Jesus and service to people, not organizations, is what ministry is all about. Centuries after some of our stately churches and organizations will be reduced to piles of rubble, our service and love for Jesus and his people will remain, standing tall as eternal monuments.
In this chaotic time in which we live, it becomes more important that we do not lose focus. It is important that we keep our eyes fixed on our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. There are so many things that can cause us to lose our focus – wars, floods, unrest, even unnecessary internal battles. It is crucial that when we experience the pressure from life’s storms that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. When you pray to God, you can ask Him to help you show more appreciation and be more aware of God’s presence.
The fourth quality of the woman with the alabaster flask that impressed me, and I believe, contributed towards Jesus’ appreciation of her sacrifice was the personal love, passion and gratitude she expressed. Through her act, she demonstrated her recognition of Jesus’ exceptionality and unique importance which must have moved Him deeply. It is never easy to show gratitude every day, all day long, but with each new day we have the opportunity to bless God through our actions just as the woman did 2000 years ago.
The fifth and undoubtedly most important element of the woman’s ministry was that she prophetically anointed Jesus before His death. This act touched him personally and deeply, so much so that He vowed that this act will be told wherever the gospel is preached. While the other disciples were quite clueless, arguing about who was the most important among them, who will hold the ministerial portfolios when Jesus destroyed the hated Roman yoke on Israel and appointed his new cabinet, this outsider alone understood Jesus’ deepest fear, anxiety, and ultimate purpose. She was ministering to Him personally, hence the deep meaning He drew from the act.
Let us strive to apply all the exceptional qualities that the woman with the alabaster flask teaches us so effortlessly. We will surely become a blessing in Jesus’ Kingdom if we apply these principles in our daily lives. In conclusion, the principal lesson that ties together every lesson from her life, is that the quality of service to others is an integral part of living a Christian life. It is also not a quality that comes naturally, it is acquired by grace, and can be learnt.
Until next time,
Dr. Jurie Vermeulen,
FEBA South Africa