The Chosen - Episode 1
The Gospel is not so much an argument to assent to (though there are many arguments one can make for the Gospel); but more than this, the Gospel is a person that you place your confidence in. And that’s what Mary Magdalene does in this first episode.
Church traditions dating back to the early fathers have identified Mary Magdalene with the anonymous woman of Luke 7. And there's one detail I want you to pay attention to in the story: the flask around her neck.
The text says "she brought an alabaster jar of perfume..." This jar was not a mega-sized container. Think necklace-size, more like a vial or flask than a jar. An alabaster flask was a little globular … It had a bulb, and it had a very long, skinny neck. At the very top there was a tiny, little opening. Inside this flask, when it was created, perfume was placed in the bulb, so the aroma could get out, but there was absolutely no way for the perfume to spill out. When the text says she pours, the only way to pour was to break the flask.
The jar wasn’t that valuable; and the stuff inside varied in price – from not that expensive to a whole years wage – depending on the quality of what was in the vial. This was the most expensive thing she owned. It was important to her and one of the tools of her trade. She wore it often. For a woman to take the tool of her trade off and pour it at his feet was to say, “I have a better use now for this perfume.” She was changing the direction of her life. She’s saying, “If you are who you say you are, that changes everything. I come to you without conditions. I give you everything I am. I give you everything I have.”
She refused to see anything more valuable than Him. That means making him master of everything: your job, your behavior, your ethics, the way you use your money, your relationships, your sexuality, your thought life, your intellectual life. Everything! She is saying, “Lord, I have always trusted in my beauty. I’ve always trusted in my desirability,” and, of course, her beauty and desirability are not going away. But she says, “No longer will this be the fundamental thing I trust in my life. No longer, because though I trusted in it, it mastered me. It controlled me, and now you are the Master.
Everybody has a little flask around their neck, the things that are important to them. You’re going to pour them out at somebody’s feet. There is something in someone that you’re going to live for. Who gets your heart? Whom do you live for utterly and entirely? Would you be willing to pour it out at His feet today?