Loaves, Fishes, Perfume

It is not a matter of how many loaves we have in our hands, but whether or not God has blessed them. ― Watchman Nee

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of 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. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:6-13‬

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:19-20‬

Jesus invests with meaning the offering of the woman at Bethany. Where she brought a simple act of perhaps extravagant devotion, he finds in it a vital piece of the drama unfolding during the last week of his eathrly life: “She did it to prepare me for burial.”

As with the loaves and the fishes, Jesus’ blessing transforms a simple offering into something magnificent and meaningful. So I ought never be shy about making such offerings, out of thankfulness or devotion or just because it seems like the best thing to do. He is neither limited by its smallness nor offended by its extravagance. The point is that it is offered, and that he blesses it.

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