Leave her alone,” said Jesus in Mark 14:6. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
“She has done a beautiful thing to me.” Really? Greasy hair, tear-stained feet, and public awkwardness? Jesus, the Savior, King, Lord, Friend, and Messiah had just called this messy, emotional act, “a beautiful thing.” His assessment is different from ours.
A woman had crashed in on a dinner party where Jesus was the guest of honor, and had poured very expensive perfume upon Jesus’ head. Other Gospel accounts tell us that she wiped his feet with her hair, and tears. She seemed to those around her to be wasteful in this act of love.
To us, beautiful things are not usually created with these particular ingredients. Tears, oily perfume, and stringy hair are just weird. Well, not so fast. As a parent, I have been blessed on many occasions with mud pies, crayon masterpieces, wet kisses, and gifts that were, “interesting.” Nevertheless, they were beautiful to me.
This woman is responding exactly how people who experience life-wrecking grace respond; with crazy, extravagant, messy, embarrassing, love.
At some previous point in time this woman must have experienced the love and amazing grace of Jesus. She chose this moment to respond to His love and grace. Her response was a little crazy looking. If a person suddenly came into a gathering we were a part of, broke a perfume jar open, and began to pour it out on the head of a particular person, we would be picking up our cell phones and dialing 911.
This woman recognized something that only a very few had: Jesus was Messiah, and worthy of love and worship. Jesus deserved the extravagant worship that was usually afforded to God alone. Jesus was God in a body.
Again, this woman is responding to the love and amazing grace of Jesus.
When you deserve judgment and receive grace (undeserved kindness from God), it can wreck you and cause you to do things that will look out in left field. Grace is extravagant and wasteful. Grace does not reward the good people, but rewards the bad people like you and me. Grace is counter-cultural. Grace is unfair. Grace is amazing. Go ahead, do a “beautiful thing to Jesus” today and don’t worry about what people say. He will love it and celebrate you.
This article was written on behalf of the Moses Lake Christian Ministerial Association.