Stan began the conversation with “There’s an interesting story about a woman in Matthew’s Gospel. She did something for which the disciples of Jesus condemned her, but Jesus, Himself, gave her high praise.”
“How could there be such a distinction in their reactions?” I asked.
“This, along with everything, absolutely everything, has to be seen in the right perspective.”
“What did this woman do that caused the different reactions?” I asked Stan.
“Jesus was reclining at a table at the home of someone who was hosting him. A woman came up behind Him and poured some very expensive perfume on His head.”
“Why did she do that?” I asked.
“Jesus said it was done to prepare His body for burial. And He said it was a good thing.”
“What about the disciples?”
“They condemned the woman, saying that she wasted what could have been sold for money to give to the poor.”
“Who was right?” I asked.
“Jesus is always right,” Stan said with a laugh. “In fact,” he continued, “Jesus criticized the disciples rather harshly and told them to leave the woman alone, for she had done a good deed to Him.”
“Jesus went even further and gave this woman higher praise by saying that wherever the Gospel is preached what this woman had done would be spoken of in memory of her.”
I responded, “That is an amazing testimony for Jesus to say that she would be remembered in that way! I would love to be in that position!”
“I agree,” said Stan. “And there is a valuable lesson here to see the amazing contrast in the perspectives of the disciples and of Jesus. They had all witnessed the same event, but had totally different reactions.”
“Praise by the only One who counted, and condemnation by those in the dark about the truth.”
Stan concluded, “I need to see clearly and to be quick to praise in line with what Jesus praises. Not always easy, but that is what I know I need to do.”
Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. Matthew 26:10.
Prayer: Lord, you know how quick I am to criticize others. It is such a self-focused thing I do way too often. I ask you to move in me to help me to see everything from your perspective so I will know what you praise, why you praise it, and will join you in that praise. Amen.