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   [I think it no accident that this post was written on Dec. 25, 2014, at 6 AM, before everything else.]

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   “Now when Jesus was in Bethany…a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it upon His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, ‘Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.’ But Jesus…said…’[S]he has done a good deed to Me…Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done shall also be spoken of in memory of her.’ “

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          ………………. –Matthew 26: 6-13

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[MORE]

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   Five short observations about this text:

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   (1)  This beautifully exhibits an example of practicing the first two greatest commandments in proper order (Love God first, then love your neighbor as yourself.)

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   (2)  Dealing properly with priorities is complex, but possible. Consider this woman’s probable circumstances: She certainly wasn’t a scholar, and probably knew little about the implications of what was going on at the time. But somewhere along the way she’d obviously met Jesus, and knew this was the most important thing that ever happened to her.  At last she was clever enough for a moment to literally get close to him, and give him the best she had. This was her carefully saved perfume which, perhaps, was her carefully saved personal “bank account.” She realized she could quickly give it away, and who else should receive it but Jesus? The fact that its highly noticeable physical effect would soon be washed away by excessive sweating and bleeding probably didn’t enter her mind. Jesus praised her for this impulsive action, and millions have read about it, as predicted, for more than 2000 years.

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   (3)  The poor could still be helped–later. Jesus made this clear in other recorded teachings.

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   (4)  But first things first. And realize that this was a terribly selfish thing for Jesus to say–if he was only a man and not God himself.

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   (5)  If Jesus’ action somehow still seems troubling and unfairly self-centered, realize that Jesus did not automatically heal, “restore,” or “equalize” all humanity when he came to Earth. But the Bible does say, or suggest, is that all who came to him “asking” were “answered” appropriately and helpfully, except for those who were otherwise occupied, had too much pride, or were in love with their money.

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