A Call to Extravagant Worship (Mark 14:1-11) by Morgan Underwood

Morgan Underwood is a Masters Student at Dallas Theological Seminary and is currently interning with Pearls of Promise Ministries. Morgan is a writer with a heart for worship as you will see in today’s blog.

I walked down my street, exhausted from classes and overwhelmed by unknowns. I wondered, “Is this worth it? Is Jesus worth it?” I knew the answer. Yes. But I wondered. As I walked and wrestled, a scent caught me. Wisteria. As a kid, I’d sit on my grandpa’s shoulders and press my nose into those blossoms. And, again, Jesus reminded me He’s worthy. In Mark 14 when Jesus sits at His friend’s table, the unexpected happens. A woman walks into the room, and she isn’t serving food. An alabaster flask preserving pure nard rests in her hands. Voices fade as she draws closer to Jesus. The silence breaks. Her hands shatter the flask— an irrevocable surrender of extravagant worship. In a scene reminiscent of the anointing of Old Testament prophets, priests, and kings, perfume trickles down the head of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The word describing the nard reveals that the perfume is faithful or genuine—an appropriate sacrifice for a faithful and genuine disciple. Rather than allowing this extravagant sacrifice to seep through their senses and into their hearts, the onlookers censure this woman’s worship. They label her sacrifice a waste—too much for Jesus, too much for Beauty Incarnate. But Jesus intercedes. “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her?” Jesus doesn’t allow any response time because there’s no good answer. “She’s done a beautiful thing to me.” Can you imagine Jesus affirming your sacrificial worship as a good and beautiful thing? He does. He sees and declares it beautiful. The onlookers said, “She’s done a wasteful thing.” Jesus said, “No. No, she’s done a good and beautiful thing.”

Jesus affirms this woman’s worship in three ways. Firstly, Jesus recognizes the scope of her insight into His sacrifice. She has a limited window of opportunity to worship the Incarnate Son who took on a poverty we’ll never grasp. He became poor for us and our salvation. Secondly, Jesus reveals the extent of her sacrifice. Somehow, this woman recognizes that Jesus will pour Himself out to the very end, and she’s compelled to pour her everything out onto Jesus. She knows He’s worthy of extravagant worship. Thirdly, Jesus promises the perpetual remembrance of this woman’s sacrifice. This unnamed woman shattered the seal of her perfume bottle, and Jesus forever seals her extravagant worship in His Word. The extravagance of Jesus compels disciples to lives of extravagant worship.

When you gaze on the extravagance of Jesus, do you pull away? Or does the extravagance of Jesus compel you towards a life of sacrificial worship? Do you ever question, “Is Jesus worthy?” In Mark 14, the unnamed woman answers, “He is.” What’s your answer? One day, my grandpa took me to the Dallas Arboretum. He led me beneath their arbor weighed down with thousands of pale, flowering cords. Beauty washed over me. Let the beauty of Jesus and the depths of His sacrifice wash over you. Allow the extravagance of Jesus and His sacrifice to compel you to extravagant worship.

“A life of self-sacrificing unselfishness is the most divinely beautiful life that man can lead…It means not that we should live one life, but a thousand lives—binding ourselves to a thousand souls by the filaments of so loving a sympathy that their lives become ours.” B.B. Warfield 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.