The Alabaster Box

Mark 14:3-11

“While He was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume?  It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her?

She has done a beautiful thing to me.

The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.  She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world,

what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

As I have been studying this story recently, I asked myself these questions…

  • Why was this woman’s act so beautiful to Jesus?
  • Why did the disciples scold her for doing this?
  • Why was her box so precious?
  • What made it so precious?

In Jesus’ time, women were given precious alabaster box filled with a variety of costly ointments.  The value of the ointments reflected the wealth and current financial state of her parents and family.  The box was given to her as a form of dowry, which was about all that she possessed.  The box was to be broken on the honeymoon night and the bride was to pour the ointments on the head of her husband.

After researching the cultural significance of the alabaster box of this biblical time period, I was completely blown away and I’m now able to understand why Jesus received and deemed it with such honor and beauty.

This woman was a prostitute who had relations with men, which was literally her job and source of income, yet she had never once broken her alabaster box for any other man…


This woman understood that the only man who could make her dreams come true was…


This woman knew that the one who could love her for who she was, and not what she did was…


This woman broke her precious box and anointed Jesus as her heavenly bridegroom.  This anointing was indeed a preparation for His burial, but the beauty was from her heart and in her act of worshipping Jesus as her true love.  Worship is not an experience, but should be our very lifestyle; an act of giving and sacrificing unto Jesus what is most precious to us.

Though it was so precious to the Lord, the  disciples criticized her for this act of true worship, saying that it was a waste and could have been sold and given to the poor.  Could you imagine how she must have felt? After pouring out everything she had as an act of worship, she got criticized and ridiculed by the disciples of Jesus. I am sure that her heart must have been broken just like the alabaster box that had contained her perfume.

Then the Lord intervened on her behalf and honored her!

So my question for you today is this…

What is your Alabaster box?

  • Time
  • Work
  • School
  • Friends
  • Relationships
  • Money

Have you broken your box before the Lord?

Remember that worship is not an experience or something that you do every Sunday morning, but should be your very nature; to bring glory to God, a lifestyle!

What has your worship to the Lord looked like?

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