But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. - Mark 14:6 ESV
As I read this passage this morning, this phrase ‘beautiful thing,’ stuck me. It drove me back to this wonderful story.
In context, we're at a dinner party with Simon the leper, and a woman came in and found her way to Jesus.
She took a flask of precious ointment and poured it out on Jesus head.
Immediately others in attendance expressed their disgust at this waste.
It’s interesting to me that the word Mark chooses for ‘waste’ is not the same word as Jesus used in the parable of the prodigal son. “. . . and there he squandered his property in reckless living. - (Luke 15:13 ESV) Mark does not suggest that she squandered this ointment.
Here—with this precious offering poured out without regard to its cost—the writer uses a word that means ‘utter destruction.’ This perfume was not simply wasted, it was destroyed.
And yet, Jesus looks at her offering as a ‘beautiful thing.’
It makes me think of another precious and costly offering, poured out without reserve, not simply wasted but utterly destroyed.
This was the beautiful thing that Jesus did on the cross.
He took a vessel of precious ointment, the most costly possession mankind had ever known, and poured it out without reserve.
That vessel was His body, that precious ointment His blood.
That’s a beautiful thing.