Tuesday, February 20, 2007

perfume

"Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair." - John 12.3
In my prior post i commented on how the way Jesus died is the ultimate expression of love. To some it could appear insane, that God would come as man and be murdered as a sinner, for us. It's topsy-turvey for sure, but it was infact completely sane and wise and beautiful.
Today i was thinking about how the way we express our love for Jesus can also appear foolish to others, yet in reality it is no more foolish than Jesus' death. Mary poured out extremely expensive perfume on Jesus' feet, as an expression of her admiration and love. Foolish? Maybe, if you view money as your greatest treasure. But completely sane and tender and the only real thing you could do, if you view Jesus as your greatest treasure.
That's what it comes down to i guess... Who or what is your greatest treasure? And it should be Jesus, because He is the greatest. Yet by the world's standards to follow Jesus and regard Him as your greatest treasure could result in some 'seemingly' insane actions. Loving Jesus above all else means being prepared to give up all else for His sake.... to pour perfume on Him which is worth a years wages.... Am i prepared to do that? I'm sure i have a long way to go, despite my desire to treasure Him above all else, i daily notice little ways where i forget to act as if that's the case.
Even situational things don't really matter, when God is your greatest treasure. You could be homeless or housed, be sick or well, rich or poor, jobless or employed, rejected or popular, live or die... and the list goes on.... no-one can say which is the most 'Godly' option or which is even right... all these things should be counted as nothing for the sake of knowing God (Philippians 3.8) - when He is your greatest joy, the rest doesn't matter. Infact in Philippians Paul actually says he counts all things as RUBBISH, as LOSS, compared to "the surpassing GREATNESS of knowing Christ Jesus." It's because knowing Jesus is soooo extemely GREAT that he can count all else as rubbish. And rubbish is a strong word! That's not a notion very popular with what our society teaches, infact it would seem foolish or insane to many, but that's what the bible seems to teach. When i look at the life of Jesus and think how much He suffered and endured, it's by no means a glamorous or easy life... quite contray to the life style that even the church seems to promote sometimes. I pray God will always give me the grace to give up all else for His sake, natural desires can sometimes be strong, but He is still the greatest joy that can be found.
"The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me..." - John 12: 25-26
"He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot
"Whether God handles me tenderly or gives me over to torture, i love Him. He is my reward, the builder of the city i long for, the treasure beyond the riches of egypt, and the possession that surpasses all others and abides for ever." - John Piper

2 comments:

deb said...

Where DO you get all your quotes from? I'm intrigued... I love it! x

rebekah fox said...

I have literally hundreds of quotes that i have collected over the last couple of years... i just make note of good things i read in books or hear somehow... anyway, i will no doubt include more in future posts. Thanks for leavng your comments by the way. x