“And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people. Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.” – Matthew 26:1-16
A worship that cost you nothing is not true worship. Though God will reward those who sacrifice for intimacy with Him and faithful obedience to Him, any action taken with the intent to gain or be rewarded is betrayal. Judas kissed Jesus, and sat and ate at His table with his heart set on gain, and gained 30 pieces of silver, but lost his soul. While the woman wept at Jesus’ feet, washed them with her tears and hair, broke her expensive alabaster box and poured out all of the oil on Him that had cost her such a great price to obtain. She gave more them 300 pence with no desire to be blessed but only seeking to bless the Lord and gained eternity. Judas sat at the table clutching the money bag, while the woman took the lowest seat possible on the floor clutching the feat of her Lord. From these moments on through all of history, Judas was abased for his act of selfish pride and the woman was exalted for her act of humble faith. While in this life there is sometimes reward for betrayal, in eternity their is reward for intimacy. All the while in this life there is a cost for intimacy, while in the next there is a price for betrayal.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Luke 12:34
Why do you serve Jesus? Do you seek to sit at His table or at His feet? Is Jesus simply a means to a selfish ends for you, or is He the end of your selfish means? When we selflessly pour out our oil of high cost as the woman did to bless the Lord it rises as a sweet fragrance that blesses all around. Yet in the end, what poured out of Judas in the field of blood rose as a stench in the nostrils of God and cursed the very land it fell upon (Acts 1:19). So when it seems that all are against you and that your relationship, time with, and faithful obedience to God is costing you so greatly in this moment, remember the woman with her alabaster box and strengthen your heart for the love of your savior and continue in faith, for that faith will be remembered in eternity. Likewise, when you see others selfishly seeking the highest seat, using God for gain, and betraying the very character and heart of God, all with a kiss and a claim to be one of His own… Remember, always there is a cost to intimacy but likewise, always there is a price for betrayal.
“Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the Lord: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.” – 1 Chronicles 21:22-26
“And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him.” – Mark 14:43-46
Co-written by @ Heather Wright / Marandia Wright