Friday, August 01, 2014

Barclay: extravagant love

Friday, August 1, 2014
    While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
    When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
    Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
    —Matthew 26:6-13 (NIV)
    There is a certain extravagance in love. The alabaster phial of perfume was meant to be used drop by drop; it was meant to last for years, perhaps even a life-time; but in a moment of utter devotion, the woman poured it on the head of Jesus. Love does not stop nicely to calculate the less or more; love does not stop to work out how little it can respectively give. With a kind of divine extravagance, love gives everything it has and never counts the cost. Calculation is never any part of love.
    ... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Mind of Jesus [1961], New York, Harper & Row, 1961, p. 199 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 26:6-13; Deut. 6:5; 30:6; Mark 12:30; John 3:16; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your love is our model.
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