“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.
I only had one brother. He was older and he was bigger. His being bigger wasn’t just because he was older. No, he was bigger than just about anyone in our extended family. He was 6” 4” with broad shoulders. He was stronger because he had muscles without working out or lifting weights.
We used to wrestle, or should I say, he’s let me think that I was holding my own for a while. And when he got tired of playing around, boom. Like throwing a light switch, I was on the ground. He was on top, holding my arms and legs down. He was looking down with that smirk that said, “Ok you puny pipsqueak of a brother. I’ve had enough. I’m bored. Time to end this and move onto something else.”
I hated that smirk. But there was nothing I could do. Even pulling a knife out of the kitchen drawer didn’t do anything. He just laughed and took it away from me in a heartbeat.
So, there wasn’t much of an upside to being the little brother. Until a neighborhood bully put his target on me. And the attention I got from this older kid was not welcomed at all. He caused me a lot of pain that’s still burned into my memory.
But all of a sudden, the bully seemed to disappear. He was nowhere to be found. And when I did run into him, something odd happened. While he was backing away from me, he forced a smile and said hi.
For many years I wondered what happened. But I eventually figured it out. My big brother got ahold of that bully and told him that if he knew what was good for him, that he’s leave me alone. And that’s what he did.
It doesn’t do any good for a weaker person to tell the bullies of life to leave them alone. It has to come from someone stronger than all of them. Someone in charge. Someone with authority and power to back it up.
And when it comes to a woman that pours perfume, that stronger person is Jesus. That person in charge is Jesus. That person with authority is Jesus.
Jesus takes what the rest of the world looks down on and raises it up. Jesus takes the people that the rest of the world thinks are insignificant and shows their worth. Jesus takes the people that the rest of the world knows are wrong and proves them right.
Jesus takes the insignificant and broken, just the way we are, and lifts us up to heights unknown. And he doesn’t tell us to fix ourselves before he receives us. He receives us just the way they are.
Imagine if there was a museum of the small and insignificant things that Jesus lifts up? Think about some of the things that Jesus says are important and significant.
A small, wooden cup used to give a cool drink given in Jesus name.
Two small, almost worthless copper coins given by a widow.
An ordinary fishing net that was used for a giant catch.
Some mud that was put on a blind man’s eyes.
The mat that four friends used to lower a paralyzed man.
The old, worn-out pillow that Jesus slept on in the back of the boat.
And then there’s the broken perfume jar.
What would be in your wing of God’s museum of the insignificant? What small and insignificant things would God keep, showing the whole world about his goodness. His power. His mercy?
But there’s another reason that God keeps these things. They’re a memorial about our growth. Our trust. Our obedience. They’re the proof and evidence of a life that Jesus’ changed.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29
We’re foolish. We’re weak. We’re the lowly and despised. Not someone else. Us. And we’re just the right kind of people that God deeply desires to be with. To know intimately. To walk with. To love on.
You might be thinking that you don’t deserve it. And you’d be right. But don’t stop there. Move forward in thanksgiving, adoration, and praise. And become the beautiful person God wants you to be.