“Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head, as he sat at table. But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for a large sum, and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me.” –Matthew 26: 6-10
Jesus was always willing to share a meal with the people of the community in which he was preaching. Sometimes it was a meal with his disciples, sometimes with friends. On some occasions the meal was with large crowds and other times with a small group of strangers in the home of a new friend.
On one occasion, while in Bethany, Jesus when to eat at the house of Simon the leper. This was a radical decision. Leprosy is a scary disease. No one in Jesus’ time knew how it was transmitted. When a person was found to be a leper they were cut off from their family and their community. This is how people protected themselves. Although the community was protected, those with leprosy were shunned. It is into the house of a leper that Jesus dares to go and eat. While in this house a woman comes, and pours a large container of perfume on the feet of Jesus.
Those who were in the room for dinner, and witnessed this amazing event, were shocked. This was a lavish offering poured out on Jesus. There were mixed reactions in the room. Jesus found this woman’s actions to be a blessing while his disciples were, “indignant.” Jesus takes a moment to teach his disciples and offers a reminder to us today. He tells them, in fact he makes it clear that it was, “A beautiful thing.” There were many troublesome things in the story of this dinner. And a man with leprosy, unclean by the medical and religious thought of the day. The attitude of the disciples was not a pretty thing. They were more concerned with the cost of the perfume then they were amazed at the sacrificial act performed by this woman. During this difficult situation, a beautiful thing is done.
The woman at Simon the lepers house is a reminder to us all that a good deed is something we should never regret. When we take time to bless others it is a beautiful thing. It changes a difficult time into a beautiful thing.
Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor