One of the most wonderful stories in the Bible is of a woman who gave the ultimate expression of worship by pouring costly perfume all over Jesus (see Luke 7: 37– 38). Some considered it a huge waste of resources, including one of His disciples (see Mark 14: 4; John 12: 4– 5). Poverty of soul always despises radical generosity.
Jesus said this woman made such a great investment that the story of her sacrifice would be spoken of throughout eternity. She gave perfume that was worth an entire year’s income, and she poured it over Jesus, wiping it with her hair (see John 12: 3). Here is the important lesson she showed us about what God has given us: Although she gave her perfume entirely to Jesus as an offering, and although she kept none of it back for herself, she walked out of the house smelling the same as Jesus.
When we use the favor, authority and resources given to us for God’s glory and purposes, we benefit in a deeply personal way that brings delight to the heart of the Father, who loves to see His children blessed. We start smelling like Jesus, richly blessed, having that which is our own. Using what we have well is the big test, and when we handle this assignment well, we are given the place of influence God has designed us for since the beginning. The Old Covenant declared that God’s people were “the head and not the tail” (Deuteronomy 28: 13). Israel was unable to sustain that position for very long, since they tended to focus on the blessing over the One who gave it to them. We have the opportunity to succeed where they failed by following our Lord’s example and using the favor we have for the benefit of others.