November 7, 2011 In life

a woman of extravagant generosity

there’s a lyric from “dress us up” by john mark mcmillan that simply gets me. every time. the best i can describe it is a soul-ache. deep down inside my heart, i feel it… the best kind of love-sick.

 

“when you walk into the room you know we can’t resist
every bottle of perfume always ends up on the floor in a mess”

 

let’s explore the back story.

one evening, a group of friends had gathered to eat & Jesus had been invited to dine with them. a woman named mary had brought with her a bottle of perfume/anointing oil to the party. but this was no ordinary perfume — the price equaled an average worker’s yearly wage. these were precious, valued goods. after finishing their meal together, Mary put down her knife and fork. she quietly knelt at the feet of Jesus, reaching into her bag she opened the bottle of perfume & poured it all out.

a tangible expression of her love.

Mary was a woman of extravagant, incredulous generousity. when Mary was in the presence of her Saviour, she could not resist pouring everything out before him. she had zero concern for the monetary/earthly value of her offering, because all she saw was Jesus.

from the outside, she looks crazy. straight-up crazy.

i can imagine the criticism: “Mary, Mary, do you know how much money you ‘wasted’ in your ‘cute’ little display of affection?” — & oh, oh, oh! even more vividly i imagine Mary leaning over to the critic’s ear with a smile & a whisper: “more importantly have you heard what i gained?”

because all she saw was Jesus.
& once you see Jesus,
really see Him for who He is:
everything else is worthless when compared.

 

 


“everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” Phillipians 3:8 NLT

 

  • danielle smith

    beautiful! one of my favorite lyrics ever!

  • I’ve been away a long time (BIIIIIIIIZZZZZYYYYY!) but saw this blog post pop up in my Facebook news feed and decided to visit. I am always so refreshed to read about your spirit for the Lord. Thanks, as always, for your honesty and encouragement.

  • After reading this, and all of your other scripture findings, I want to live a new way. A way that expresses Christ’s love for me, and my adoration of Him. Thank you for posting. This is exactly what I needed. :-)

  • Jamie, this blessed my heart. Thank you so much for writing. I want to be a woman of extravagant generosity.

  • Lindsey

    I’ve never heard the angle Pastor Piper took on this very passage you mentioned about Mary,it is incredibly powerful. He talks about the uncompromising love and generosity in Mary’s heart but then draws the contrast between Judas’ reaction to her sacrifice and somehow ties in the death greed of money brings. this site will take you right to the sermon archive.–> http://www.hopeingod.org/sermon/leave-her-alone-judas-my-burial .
    (you’ll have to use the old copy & paste)
    Needless to say, if you have time, take a listen. Its worth it.