Two Men and a Woman

The following three portions of Scripture are from Jesus’ last week on this earth before His death. They concern a donkey, a room, and a jar of perfume:

As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.” (Matthew 21:1‭-‬3 NLT) (see also Luke 19:28‭-‬35 Mark 11:1‭-‬7)

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” “As you go into the city,” He told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with My disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there. (Matthew 26:17‭-‬19 NLT) (see also Luke 22:7‭-‬13 and Mark 14:12‭-‬16 NLT)

Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While He was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over His head. The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to Me? You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me. She has poured this perfume on Me to prepare My body for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” (Matthew 26:6‭-‬13 NLT) (see also Mark 14:3‭-‬9 NLT)

What I want to do is look past the gifts of the donkey, the room, and the jar of perfume and look at who supplied them. Unfortunately we have no names. All we know is that they were a man, another man, and a woman. They were most likely ordinary people with no title or notoriety. What is important is that Jesus knew who they were and that they would not be forgotten. They would be rewarded greatly for their kindness and faithfulness. How do I know this? Take note of Jesus’ own words on the subject:

“When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:2‭-‬4 NLT)

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:21 NIV)

The whole idea of obscurity is so contrary to human nature. Yet this is where our greatest reward lays:

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Matthew 6:19‭-‬21 NLT)

The heart of the matter is our motivation. Everyone likes to get a pat on the back and hear, “Job well done!” But if worldly recognition is what motivates our good deeds, we are barking up the wrong tree:

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6 ESV)

About annointing

Defender of the Christian Faith
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