Jennifer Kim, a graduate of Boston University, spent a year in Shanghai as one-year intern from 2013-14. She is currently serving as a staff at Catalyst Agape Church (New Jersey), while attending Alliance Theological Seminary.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 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. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Growing up I had one dream in life, and unlike most kids, my dream never changed: I wanted to be the first female Asian Spielberg. To kick-start this dream, when I was in 6th grade I asked my parents for a very specific camcorder—the Sony DCR-TRV22. Now this camcorder was the most state-of-the-art recorder of its day, and I took care of this thing like it was my baby! This camera was my most prized possession because at the heart of it, I believed it would bring me closer to my dream of becoming Director Jennifer Kim.
In today’s passage, we read of a woman identified only as “a woman in the city who was a sinner,” who owned a very prized possession: an alabaster jar of perfume. A single vial of this perfume was said to be the equivalent of one year‘s wages, and prostitutes at the time were actually known to wear these vials around their neck to increase their appeal. In other words, this jar of perfume was most likely the most expensive thing this woman owned; it was her livelihood and income as it was the source of her continuing lucrative business. Yet more than that, it was her very source of identity that labeled her the city sinner.
Oftentimes, the things that we hold onto as our most prized possession are the very things that cause us to sin. We can wear our titles, careers, family, relationships, and perhaps even our spiritual gifts around our neck, thinking they will increase our appeal. Yet while these things are not essentially bad, when they become the source of our identity, they become the very source of sin in our lives which only lead us to the feet of Jesus weeping like this woman. My camcorder is a silly example of my most prized possession, but it was the sole purpose of my heart that made me live in pursuit of an identity that never satisfied my heart, leading me further and further from the Lord. Our most prized possessions may be the things dearest to our heart, even becoming our source of income and our identity, but I want to encourage you today to reflect on whether God is asking you to lay your jars of perfume at the feet of Jesus, so you may live in the fullness of Christ Jesus. As this woman pours out her perfume to anoint Jesus’ feet, He says that what this woman has done will be remembered whenever the gospel is preached. Our sacrifices to the Lord are remembered forever, and God does not waste them as long as we surrender to Him. May we be people who fully surrender for the fullness of Jesus in our lives as we remember that God did not withhold anything for us.
Prayer: God, thank You for Your unending love to sacrifice everything, so I may enjoy fullness in You. May I also surrender my most prized possessions in pursuit of my identity in You. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 7