TITLE: Costly Worship
By William Baldwin
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4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,
5 "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages."
7 "Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.
Mark 14:9 I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
Luke 10:41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,
42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
True worship is costly. When she came near to Jesus, Mary didn’t notice the price because she was overwhelmed with the person. When it comes to Jesus, the person is always superior to the price.
She poured a fragrance on Jesus’ feet that was equal to a year’s wages. Imagine owning a pint of anything that’s worth enough money to live off of for one year. Even more astounding, can you conceive of taking the sixteen-ounce treasure and pouring it on someone’s feet? Sound’s stupid, unless that Someone just raised your brother from the dead. If that Someone is Jesus it’s not stupid, it’s worship.
People who are not worshipers think we are the stupid ones. The word out on us is that we're "impractical" and "without balance." “They go way overboard,” they say. “Why all the fuss and time consuming singing? You will run everyone else off." And you know what? They're possibly right. Their argument may, indeed, be valid. True worshipers, however, are not always practical or balanced, at least when it comes to worshiping the Lord. To them all that really matters is being in the presence of Jesus.
Worshipers are oblivious to the complaints or the price they’ll pay for such extravagant devotion. They’re just overwhelmed with the Lord and addicted to His presence. They say street drugs are so addicting that one high is all it takes to hook you. After you get a “boot”, regardless of the cost, you’re on the streets looking for more. Forgive the comparison, but it’s the same with the Lord’s presence. One moment with Him and you’re ruined. Once you’ve been in His presence, you live to be with Him again…and again…and again.
Jesus said Mary was anointing Him because of His approaching death. The cross was only days away. True worshipers have already died to time, schedules, and people around them. They’ve died to Judas and Martha, who complain about their excesses, while more practical things go unnoticed. “All you want to do is sing,” they protest, “you never help out around the kitchen.” It hardly affects them. They have locked eye to eye with the only One who matters and they won’t, or can’t, let go. “They,” Jesus said, “have chosen what is better.”
Consequently, Mary, like the One she worshiped, after 2000 years is still remembered and highly esteemed. Her example of worship lives on, even today. That’s because true worship, costly worship, touches eternity and is recorded forever. Worship is the only thing we have on earth that we’ll take with us to heaven, the only part that “will not be taken away.” Is it any wonder that such a small amount is worth so much?
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