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An Extravagant Love


Matthew 26:1-13

In this passage we find the story of what we call, “the Alabaster Jar.”

Now what you are going to find in this story is that some people couldn’t appreciate the gift for counting the cost.

As you look at verses 1 through 5 you find that it was a dangerous time for Jesus.

But it wasn’t up to them.

Now in verse 6, as Jesus’ day of crucifixion approaches, Jesus is in the little town of Bethany, which is just outside of Jerusalem.

John’s account, found in John chapter 12, says that Lazarus was also there.

But any way, while they are reclining at the table, Mark says, “a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume” came in.

Now why would she do that?

So what she does is she takes this “vial of perfume.”

She takes the most expensive…most precious thing she owned.

And look at the reaction of some who saw her do this. Look at verse 8.

But the disciples were indignant when the saw this, and said, “Why this waste?”

 For some, what she did was too much! It was too extravagant!

Well, they may have been able to do that…but not Mary.

You see, Mary had no limits on how much she loved Jesus.

But not this woman.

And so, some of those who were present began to rebuke her indignantly.

Mark says that “they were scolding her.”

Isn’t that amazing?

Today we see this manifested in a little bit different way.

Or a man quits his high paying job with all these wonderful benefits…in order to be able to attend church…or do more work for Christ…or to better fulfill his God given responsibilities to his wife and kids…and people say, “What a waste.”

John says that Judas is the one who actually spoke these words recorded here in Matthew .

But let’s not be too hard on Judas.

And do you know what this tells me?

But you see, this is just another example where the teachings of Jesus just goes in one ear and out the other.

And so, they turn on the one person in the room who had understood what Jesus was saying.

And it happens today.

 And let me tell you, we do this in reference to other congregations.

And do you know what I think Jesus would say to us when we do that?

Let me tell you what I have seen.

Realize this…in scripture Jesus speaks more against insincere, going through the motions, uncommitted, lukewarm, love and devotion than He ever does against what we might consider an extravagant expression of love.

Let me ask you this.

Let me tell you something…there are enough darts being shot at us from the enemy that you shouldn’t have to worry about getting shot at from the back.

Jesus says, “Why are you bothering her?” She has done a good deed to Me.”

Verse 11: He says, “For the poor you have with you always; but you do not always have Me. For when she poured this perfume upon my body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.”

In this verse you find another reason why Mary poured this costly perfume on Jesus’ head.

But not Mary.

Maybe we ought to do more of that today. Express our love before they die.

Now look at what Jesus says in verse 13.

“Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done shall also be spoken of in memory of her.”

 Notice this. He says the “gospel” is going to be preached.

So the “gospel”…the “good news of Jesus” would be preached to the whole world…

Why? Why would what Mary did here be spoken of too?

Because when you preach the gospel you call people to love Christ.

Now look at verses 14-16.

In these verses Judas goes to the chief priests and betrays Christ.

And I think the point is clear.

Mary loved Jesus because He raised her brother from the dead.

You know He has done more than that for us…He has saved us from our sins.

And, when Jesus died on that cross…wouldn’t you say that was an extravagant act of love?

Let’s be careful about criticizing others.