This month many people are taking time out to celebrate the accomplishments of women. Over the years, society has treated women as inferior to men, in terms, of career opportunities and rights afforded men. Many people, including women, have used biblical scripture to support the inferior treatment of women in professional arenas and even the church. These biblical misinterpretations have crippled women, and have left many of them in very abusive relationships. Fortunately, Jesus’ life, especially his steps toward his crucifixion and resurrection, shows all of us that women have a role in the Kingdom of God. It is not one of inferiority, but reflects the power and honor that God has given to all of humanity. Right before, Judas turns Jesus in for 30 pieces of silver to those who would ultimately send him to the cross, Mary cracks open a jar of spikenard and pours it on Jesus.
Judas responds with criticism: “But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. He kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it),” John 12:1-6. To this, Jesus responded, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me” (7-8).
Judas did not even care about the poor. He was more concerned with himself. Mary would not be the last woman treated like this by a man. There, unfortunately, are still men who criticize women when they are walking in the power of God and doing what the Holy Spirit has called them to do—whether to preach or to become president of the United States of America. What Mary did was not a waste. It was worship. We as women need to remember that what we do with our alabaster boxes in the eyes of our Savior is not a waste. It holds deep meaning for him, and he appreciates it. When we are faced with criticism, even from our sisters, we need to know that Jesus will take up for us and validate everything that we do for him. This is why it is important that when we have an alabaster moment, a time in which we explode with worship and praise, it be poured on Jesus and no one else.
The truth is Jesus is probably the only one that can handle the oil in your alabaster box or understand it.
Some people only need a whiff of your oil. Notice that when Mary performed this act, the smell of perfume filled the room. This is what worship does. It fills the room and shifts the atmosphere. Some move with the shift, but there are others (like Judas) who raise criticism and insult and try to make the worshipper feel bad. However, Jesus says, “Leave her alone.”
Jesus fights her battle like a true gentlemen. Sisters, regardless of what anyone tells us, if someone is talking badly about the oil in our alabaster box and what we do with it—we need to leave them alone. We have to remember that we are powerful. When we step out on faith and have an alabaster moment, we will face some haters. But Jesus is right there, ordering them to leave us alone. They will have no choice, but to leave us alone.