I have spoken often with parents about my love for the Jesus Storybook Bible, along with the way Adele enjoys reading it – in fact, she requests it every night. With it’s focus on Jesus in every story, it makes for great conversation with Adele each night about who Jesus is and why He is worthy of worship.
Currently, one of Adele’s favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the woman with the alabaster jar. Alabaster jars were expensive jars of perfume back in the day. These jars were precious to people, as they were quite expensive, up to a years worth of salary, and therefore of great value. They mattered so much to people that they would put them on shelves and store them because they didn’t want to waste it on themselves. The downside was that you could only use the jar once in its lifetime because there were no caps to reseal the perfume after each use. People held onto these things for their entire lives… some even passed them on to their children.
Jesus is eating dinner with important men and this woman who owns the jar sees Jesus. She immediately grabs the alabaster jar filled with a sweet aroma and breaks it over his feet as to anoint him… because He is worth it. She knows who Jesus is, knows that he is a better treasure. Adele loves to talk about how the perfume smells, although we don’t know what it smelled like, the Storybook Bible indicates that it smelled like lilies.
The important men grumble at the action because they could not believe how much was being wasted on Jesus’ feet. It could have been “better” used for some other project or undertaking, instead of on dirty feet. In this moment, Jesus peers into the heart of people’s lives to show He knows the motivations of a persons heart.
Jesus knew the heart of the woman, and the heart of the men – he forgave her her sins and states that she was doing that which honored Him – she knew what was really precious – she knew what was worth having. Jesus.
Here’s my point: The issue of the whole Bible is the pursuit to eradicate in us idolatry. If you were to ask me what angers God the most, I believe you would find that idolatry is very high on that list – in fact, the top. This in sum is what this battle or war that we are in is about – idolatry and worship. Who are you worshiping, what are you worshiping, how are you worshiping. God, throughout the Bible, is going to indicate to us the grave need we have to be radically different than we were before.
This woman understood that. She understood that Jesus comes into our lives and he changes us. Everything we thought important changes. That’s the point. When we look at that which we thought was our treasure, we compare it to Jesus, and He is of more value.
Last night, we read the story again, and this conversation ensued:
ADELE: Daddy, I want to give my treasure to Jesus.
ME: Well, what is your treasure?
ADELE: My jewelry box.
ME: Then you should think about giving that to Jesus like the woman with the alabaster jar.
ADELE: Okay Daddy.
What is your treasure? Are you willing to give it to Jesus?