The Gospel of Matthew

Adelaide has been attending St Mary's for just over a year (mostly online) having moved from Manchester to London with her wife Kathryn. She is part of the youth team and belongs to the Shepherd's Bush small group. Adelaide is also a registered midwife.

Matthew 26:6-16

Jesus anointed at Bethany

6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. 'Why this waste?' they asked. 9 'This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.'

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, 'Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.'

Judas agrees to betray Jesus

14 Then one of the Twelve - the one called Judas Iscariot - went to the chief priests 15 and asked, 'What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?' So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Reflection

When I look at verses 7-13, what I see is an act of worship.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have done something as an expression of adoration for God that others didn't understand? When the woman poured the perfume over Jesus, the disciplines reacted with criticism and questioning. Yet Jesus saw it for what it was. An action that came from the overflow of her heart.

In Romans 12:2 Paul writes, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." We are each unique individuals, purposefully and carefully created, and because of this our relationship with God will be unlike anyone else's. It is therefore no surprise that other people may not understand the intimate details of what God has called us to. When our hearts and minds are a living sacrifice to God, we are transformed by the Holy Spirit. This empowers us to discern God's will as we live our lives, especially when what we are called to act in a way appears to be counter cultural; Christian and church culture included.

Listening to the Holy Spirit within us may cause us to act in a way that is confusing to other people. Yet, when we honour the Spirit, we are truer to ourselves, and our right standing with God, than we ever are when we conform to the world around us. If our actions flow from the heart and mind of Christ, we can be sure that our behaviour is in alignment with the grace and goodness of God.

Loving God, may our actions flow from our worship of you. In the name of Christ. Amen.

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