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A Beautiful Thing

Jesus described what Mary did when she anointed Him with an entire bottle of costly perfume as a beautiful thing. Aware of this, Jesus said to them, Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me (Matthew 26:10).

Have you ever done something that Jesus could describe as a beautiful thing?In that same passage (Matthew 26:1-13) we find two other groups of people respondingto Jesus and it is clear that their behavior could not be described as beautiful.

The chief priests and the elders assembled together to talk about a sly way toget rid of Jesus. What they were doing was the opposite of beautiful—itwas purely hateful.

Jesus’ closest friends only saw the waste in Mary’s expression oflove and devotion. Regrettably, they missed the beauty that was happening beforetheir very eyes.

What does it take to do a beautiful thing for Jesus? I see three messages fromthis passage.

First, you must submit to God’s righteousness (Romans 10:3). You can’tdo a beautiful thing for Jesus unless you fully comprehend what Jesus has donefor you. Mary felt so moved by Jesus’ extravagant act of loving her thata drop of perfume (the normal amount for an anointing) was not enough. She wasmoved to give all of it. She gave what had been costly to her.

Second, you must not get caught up in what others think. Obviously the spiritualleaders and friends of Jesus were not at all pleased by this irrational act onthe part of Mary. Mary didn’t seem to let their practical opinions hinderher from doing this beautiful thing. Sometimes other people do not understandwhy we are giving ourselves to God the way we do. You cannot let the fear ofman keep you from following God’s leading.

Third, you need to be sensitive to God’s voice. Why did Mary give thisgift? I don’t know if she fully understood. Jesus knew that she was anointingHim for burial. Did she really comprehend what would happen to Jesus at the endof the week? I’m not sure about that, but I’m sure that since thisact was so beautiful it did not come from Mary’s heart alone (Phil. 2:13).I believe that she was moved by the Holy Spirit with the idea of taking her preciousjar of perfume and breaking the whole bottle open over the head of Jesus. I believeshe was led by the Holy Spirit to do this beautiful thing.

Jesus has many beautiful things that we can do for Him. They won’t makesense to others, they will cost us something, but in the end, when you do a beautifulthing for Jesus, it is a thing you never regret.



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