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>Living Faith: Life in the Kingdom

Alabaster Boxes in a Judas World

The paths of three people converged at the house of Simon the leper.

There was Christ, at the center, just days from imminent death.

Then there was the woman with the alabaster box, pouring out all the extravagance of her love and adoration on Jesus in a final act of irrational devotion.

And there was Judas, the practical pragmatist with an eye for both convenience and coinage. So practical, in fact, that he went out and sought to conveniently betray Jesus, according to Mark.

In many ways, Judas is today's man—the man with "an eye for a dollar" and a taste for a bargain, shrewd enough to be a business success and down-to-earth enough to be preoccupied with 'real-life issues,' like the money bag.

Even in the face of the Light of the world, only gold glittered for Judas. And, materialist that he was, even the Son of God could be sold for a mere thirty pieces of silver.

Today, countless people are still selling Christ cheap for petty personal profits. Our society measures men and women more by the money they accumulate at the sale of Christ, than by the perfume vases they pour out on Him.

As for the sinful woman, we could assume the worst—that she was a prostitute closing her chapter of sin by bringing her last vial of perfume to pour out on Jesus. Or we could imagine her to simply be a rare woman of means, able to give a year's worth of treasure to Jesus.

We do not know, and so we treasure her heart more than her story. As she broke the alabaster box, so she poured out her own broken and ruined heart to the Redeemer. She had discovered the secret of meaning and life, and it was neither perfume or pieces of silver. Only through self-abandoning Christ-worship can life discover value!

While the world applauds the Judas's you know, remember you are meant for another objective—worship and devotion. Spend and be spent on bringing your perfumes to Jesus—your investments, your treasures and your loves—and make Him, not yourself, the center of your extravagance.

After all, you cannot love Him too much; you cannot worship Him too devotedly; you cannot abandon yourself to Him too recklessly! And when you are His, Judas' thirty pieces of silver will be a forgotten pittance beside the unsearchable riches of Christ.

—Arlin Weaver

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