In church we usually sing three or so songs, raise our hands, pray, and then we move on with the message. We call this time “worship”. We sing worship songs that are written by worship bands, and lead by worship leaders. We all are worshipers. As Christians, our entire lives are supposed to be worship. Worship isn't the song we sing, and how we sing it; it's our life and how we live it; living it for God.
Mark 14:3-9 shows us a beautiful example of what our worship should look like.
And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
But Jesus said,“Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
This woman stepped out in bold faith. She knew who Jesus was, and didn't care what it took to honor him the best way she could.
Looking closer we can see that her worship was:
The oil was costly and worth over three hundred denarii. That's a year's worth of wages. The average single American income is around $50,000. Imagine giving that all at once. She risked being criticized by the people around her. She didn't let what others thought hold her back. What will our worship cost us? Our reputation, time, effort, energy, or talents?
To pour the oil, she had to break the jar so that it would never be used on someone of lesser importance. In one simple move she gave him all the hard work of her family, as it was likely a family investment or even part of her dowry. She lessened her value as a bride to bring glory to Jesus as she honored him in it. The disciples sacrificed their fishing nets, a tax collector's booth, even a desire to overthrow the government. What have we sacrificed to follow Jesus?
When she poured the oil, it's aroma filled the air. As the smell of an exotic perfume traveled the room, heads may have turned to see where it was coming from. To see this woman pour such a costly oil on Jesus brought light to his worthiness. Jesus corrected the critics from the group, and stated his appreciation for her good deed. Her act affected everyone in the room. The fragrance of the oil filled their noses, and they noticed what she had done for Jesus. In the same way our worship should be fragrant. It should be noticeable to those around us.
As she walked up to Jesus she was focused on what she was going to do. She had the boldness to break the jar above his head and John 12 tells us that she moved down to his feet and wiped them with her hair. To have a level of comfort to spontaneously pour oil on someone's head requires an intimate relationship. Jesus says that she was preparing him for burial; she understood who he was. She became a servant as she used her hair to wipe his feet. Literally, she was serving Jesus at his feet. Our worship needs to be an intimate relationship.
Though she initially received criticism from the people around her, Jesus knew her heart and used her to teach the others that what she did was good and pleasing to him. She gave Jesus the best she could. Jesus gives us everything. His perfect life takes the place of ours, and we are given eternal life with him. In response we worship, and give him praise through our lives. Let's worship him for all that he is, with all that we have.
Have you sacrificed anything to follow Jesus?
Is your relationship with Him intimate?
Is your worship full?