What is Your Alabaster Jar?

 Luke 7 36-50

36 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 Jesus-Feet-300x240weeping, 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.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty.42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head,but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

A sinner in the Greek, hamartolos, is a word that brands a person SINNER. Usually, those branded SINNER were women who followed after sexual sin in order to earn a living. In other words a prostitute.

Why is this so important to note? She was making a living off of prostitution, yet the alabaster jar of perfume she poured out was very very expensive in that time period. Worth 300 Denarius which is almost a full years wages or about $9,600 in their day.

Now one can only imagine what a prostitute back in that time period would have used this costly perfume for. It was most likely a large part of her everyday necessities as a prostitute.

Her livelihood, years of living in sin, the shame of being in the presence of religious leaders, and any dignity she had left was essentially poured out on Jesus by emptying the entire jar on his feet.

Now it may sounds cliche, but what is your Alabaster jar? What is it that you hold so dear to your heart that you cannot let go for fear of the consequences?

For me pornography and sexual sin was exactly that. It was my treasure, something I held dear.  I didn’t want people to know about my sin because I enjoyed the comfort it gave me. I wanted to be freed, but I didn’t want to be embarrassed by the shame of someone knowing about it.  I was not ready to bare all and empty my alabaster jar at the feet of Jesus. Hiding it became my life. And for some, dragging your sin into the light is a constant battle of our flesh and spirit.

Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”

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