EXTRAVAGANT GRACE

Luke 7:37-38 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with HER TEARS. Then she wiped them with HER HAIR, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

EXTRAVAGANT is defined in my Collins dictionary as: spending money excessively or immodestly; GOING BEYOND USUAL BOUNDS; UNRESTRAINED; Ostentatious or showy; EXORBITANT IN PRICE; overpriced.

Before I start, I wish to pass my well wishes to all my fellow women readers as the world celebrates the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY today. To all of you out there...YOU ARE LOVED AND PRECIOUS IN HIS EYES.

And with that note, let’s have a look at the story of a woman in Jesus’ earthly life. Its most probable that you have heard or read, or been preached to, the story of the WOMAN WITH AN ALABASTER BOX OF PERFUME. But until yesterday, I had never seen this side of the story before. So here in the UGLY TRUTH.

The woman in the story is a PROSTITUTE. That means…she earned her living by selling her body in exchange for money. Hence, it is most likely that her ALABASTER JAR OF PERFUME was bought with money from her immoral trade. But wait a minute. Why in the world would Jesus accept to be anointed by her knowing how she had obtained the jar of perfume? But here is the WHOLESOME TRUTH.

You see, the woman…knew who she was….i.e her sinful condition. Oh yes, she had been USED and ABUSED by the very men who thought she was sinful. She was spent…she had given her all and yet she hadn’t found what she had been looking for…that is LOVE. She was rich…she could afford a jar of expensive perfume and yet with all her riches…she was still POOR. So when she learned Jesus was visiting at Simon, the Pharisee’s house, she went there and took along her most valuable possession…the alabaster jar of perfume. But was it her most valuable possession? NO.

The Lord showed me this. HER TEARS and HER HAIR were her MOST VALUABLE possessions. Why, because unlike the visible and quotable value of her alabaster jar of perfume...TEARS have value… EXTRAVAGANT YET PRICELESS VALUE. Psalms 56:8 The HAIR in a woman’s life has value…the Word calls it her glory…and GLORY is of IMMEASURABLE VALUE. 1 Corinthians 11:15 Yes, Jesus knew and understood that what she given him was of more value;

In exchange for water…she had washed him with HER TEARS
In exchange for a towel…she has used HER HAIR
In exchange for a kiss…she had given him KISSES on his feet
In exchange for anointing oil…she had poured PERFUME on his feet.

And with her act of extravagance….she received EXTRAVAGANT GRACE in return for HER MANY SINS.

Are you in need of EXTRAVAGANT GRACE? When is the last time you gave God something of value…EXTRAVAGANT YET PRICELESS VALUE? Today, He might be passing by your town!!!

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20 thoughts on “EXTRAVAGANT GRACE

  1. Thank you, Gladwell, for this beautiful truth! Yes, I am in need of extravagant grace–everyday! And tears are, indeed, personal and precious. I hold them back too much, and don’t even know why. But worship draws them out..as I worship, I’m reminded of who I am, who He is, and of His magnificent and extravagant grace.

    Thank you for this post! Love, Linda

  2. There is a religion in the land I used to live in where money earned through unacceptable means is not accepted into the system. This is a new form of banking and significant effort is spent to determine the source. The reason I mention it is that like in this story, the money came from illicit sources but so is all money and resources that we use. We will never know how it came by but we know that however pure the source, the filth of the giver’s heart makes it impure.

    Thank you for showing that what the woman gave from her heart was more extravagant than what she offered through the perfume. God certainly wants our all starting with our heart and mind and not just our resources. Keep shining the light of Jesus for all to see and thank you for your sincere ministry of God’s word!

    • Thank you, Vineet. I always appreciate your additional insights in my posts. Yes…it not about our resources…THE ALABASTER JAR OF PERFUME….but rather what we ARE in our hearts…and the overflow thereof.

      Blessings to you and yours,

      Gladwell

  3. I’ve given him my tears, my hair, my kisses and my small measure of temporal wealth because he has given me everything with his forgiveness.

    I’ve withheld nothing from Jesus, and the closer I get to him, the more willing I become to release that which remains tethered to my side. I want nothing more than to be completely his from here on out.

    peace~elaine

  4. Thanks for the reminder Gladwell. It’s always so amazing to me that the Son of God so often reached out to those we tend to shun and avoid. A timely reminder that we need to reach out to those that are in need of the Masters Touch! Blessings.

  5. Very great lesson,
    The Lord doesn’t need our possesions, he wants our heart. Surrendering our heart leads to true servitude of the Lord. Blessings
    Jim

  6. Oh, Gladwell, this is such a timely word for me! The Word throws such a powerful light on our brokenness, but never is that the last word. You have shown so well that the grace we find in the love of Jesus is more than enough to answer every longing in our hearts! Thank you for pointing that out to me afresh today!

    Love,
    Rebecca (from DWELLING)

    • When the Lord showed me that truth…it made me dance with a new joy. Oh yes…its one thing to be loved but its another to be loved and to love extravagantly! I am glad that His grace and love is extravagant for all who reach out for Him.

      Love,

      Gladwll

  7. Gladwell,

    How many times have we heard sermons from that topic….but Holy Spirit will have something new each time…simple, but very powerful words, gladwell…Her tears and her hair was valuable..her heart to approach God was valuable…

    We often give God , our precious things…while we hold back God’s valuable things in us all that time…

    Thank You sister
    God Bless,
    Rani John

  8. Gladwell, this post touched my heart. I have always loved the word extravagant if it describes the love and the grace and the mercy and the compassion of our heavenly Father.

    Extravagant grace… I love it.

    And you opened my eyes when you said that the jar of perfume was not the woman’s most treasured possession…

    I have to agree with you that her tears and her hair were her treasured possessions.

    For me, my tears are really precious. The tears are the final manifestation of what goes on inside of me…

    Thank you for this post. I am reminded that for my heavenly Father, my tears are also precious. He keeps them in a bottle!

    Love
    Lidj

    • Oh yes…the ministry of tears are like no other. I do agree with you, Lidj. Our God is faithful and remembers to register our every teardrop.

      You are blessed,

      Gladwell

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