As I read Amanda’s blog 1 Chronicles 21:24 came to mind. King David wants to buy a threshing floor and an animal to bring an offering to God, but Ornan won’t accept the money and insists on giving it to David for free. “But King David said to Ornan, “No, I will certainly pay the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer a burnt offering which costs me nothing.” AMP
As you read, you will see the connection. Be blessed. Nicky
What is the price of your praise?
37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!” 40 Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.” “Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied. 41 Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, cancelling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” 43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” “That’s right,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. 47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Luke 7:37-47 NLT
The word sinner (Greek) is Ham-ar-to-los, meaning: Devoted to sin, in other words, someone that was not free from sin.
The woman in these verses had an alabaster box of ointment. Alabaster is a type of stone, used to make a vessel to store up oil or perfume. The word perfume here refers to myrrh oil. Myrrh means bitter.
While I read these verses and meditated on it, as few ideas came to mind. I realized that we don’t use alabaster boxes to store up oil or perfume anymore and I was thinking how awesome it would have been to have the opportunity (in the physical) to wash our Savior, Jesus Christ’s feet and anoint it with oil. Although physically it is not possible, through Jesus overcoming the grave, it is possible spiritually.
I thought about our hearts being hardened like an alabaster box, how it becomes stone as we take all the “bitter” of life and store it up. We build these walls around our hearts to keep us from feeling pain, but instead of escaping, we take the “bitter oil” of life, hoard it and seal the pain in.
The oil, which the woman we read about in Luke 7, stored up, was a costly oil. It cost her years of saving before she had a whole alabaster box full of “bitter” oil.
Let me share an interesting fact about myrrh oil. It comes from a tree, but it is not harvested in the form of oil. The harvesters make incisions into the tree and the tree heals the “wound” by pushing a glue-like substance out of the wound like tears. This glue is then cut from the tree and stored in a dry place until the glue becomes rock hard. It is then ground and made into an oil. This process takes time, from the first incision to the end product…oil. It is a costly process.
Let’s relate that to our own journeys. What incisions have been made on your life that has produced a “bitter oil”? How much “bitter” have you accumulated through the years? What “bitter” is stored up in your heart, that needs to be poured out?
When will you walk through the crowd? When will you break open your alabaster heart and pour out everything that has been stored up at the feet of Jesus?
This woman pushed her way through to Jesus, and then she sat down at HIS feet and she started to weep…
The word weep is klah-yo (Greek) meaning she was mourning, weeping, sobbing, weeping aloud, lamenting.
The wailing was part of her praise. It was not pretty…have you seen and heard a person wail before? Aloud, without being ashamed? The pain is audible in their cries and their bodies exhibit the pain. It looks like something is being ripped from their body, a physical pain. It will affect you… you could be feeling compassion, the way Jesus felt, or judgement, the way the men did towards her, but it will not leave you indifferent.
The point I want to make is that we should never judge a person’s praise and worship experience, because we don’t understand the cost of their praise.
Take time to imagine, to picture this…
Imagine the cost for that sinful woman, to accumulate that amount of oil and then to walk past the glazes, the whispers… to fall to her knees, sobbing uncontrollably, soaking Jesus’ feet with her tears. Imagine the dirt on His feet from all the walking, imagine how many tears were necessary to “wash” Jesus’ feet.
Can you imagine the pain and shame she was pouring out on HIS feet at that very moment, knowing that everyone was looking at her? Knowing they are judging her…?
Still she continued and did not care about what they were thinking or whispering to each other. Then following it up by drying His feet with her hair. Her hair? The Word of God tells us that the hair of woman is her glory (one translation says it is “her pride and joy”), because it is given to us as a covering. (1 Corinthians 11:15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering.)
So she used her covering, her pride and joy, to dry the feet of Jesus. Would you use something that is your pride and joy to dry feet? I don’t have long hair, but I imagine using something that is very dear to me, like my tallit (prayer shawl). I cannot begin to think that I would use that to dry someone’s feet.
Then she took the oil, the very costly oil…everything she had, and she poured it over Jesus’ feet, not just rubbing a little bit on Him, but pouring out all of it. She broke the alabaster box and she poured out all the “bitter oil” onto His feet.
As she poured it out, the whole house started to smell good. (Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:3) She released the fragrance that was held captive inside the jar.
Spiritually we can pour our costly oil over the feet of Jesus. Every pain and bitter situation that was accumulated in our hearts we can pour out on Jesus’ feet as an offering.
What is the cost of your oil? How much pain and suffering did you go through to accumulate the “bitter” in your heart? What is the cost of your praise? What would it cost you to come and break it open before the King of kings, to pour out every ounce of “bitter” in your heart to HIM and allow it to become a worthy fragrance?
What “bitter” has been stored up and needs to be released? What is the cost of YOUR praise? Isn’t it time to release the “bitter oil” from the hardened heart and allow it to become a sweet smelling aroma of freedom and revelation?
Let go. Praise as if it has cost you everything…Jesus wants to set you free from sin. He is waiting to say to you “your sins are forgiven”.
Here’s a link to a song that really inspired me. Enjoy!