A Gift for Jesus

by | Dec 23, 2021 | Christmas, Gifts, Priorities, Relationship

Christmas 2021 is finally upon us. Kids everywhere are so excited! They have been counting the days until Christmas, now they are counting the hours, even the minutes!

As adults, most of us are giving some passing thoughts to the fact that this is Jesus’ birthday, but I would suggest that for many, the primary focus is on last-minute preparations. Have all the gifts been purchased? Are they all wrapped? Are the preparations for dinners already made? What is there left to do? I admit, I am the same! But are we truly celebrating the greatest birth ever? We can get so caught up in the preparation, so caught up in our own agendas, that the One we are actually celebrating may not even cross our minds! He may be there, right in our midst, but our priorities are elsewhere!

So many churches offer Christmas Eve services. My family and I have been blessed by these for years. I remember back, however, to a few years ago when our kids went out Christmas shopping… after the Christmas Eve service, because they hadn’t had time to do it before. And I recall that those years, they were kind of impatient to get through the service so that they could complete their shopping before the stores closed for the holiday. Not to point the finger at them, I have also felt frustration from time to time that I have to drop the “important” thing I am doing and run off to a Christmas Eve service.

I was reading Matthew 26 this morning. And yes, before you remind me, I realize this isn’t where the Christmas story is recorded. Nonetheless, this is where God directed me, and I read the following: “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.” (Mathew 26:6-7 NIV)

These two verses made me think of Christmas, as I immediately thought, “What a beautiful gift to give Jesus.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t how others saw it: “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.'” (Vs. 8,9 NIV).

I am, of course, tempted to be critical of these disciples. Couldn’t they see what a beautiful gift this woman was giving Jesus? Were they so blinded by their own agendas that the woman’s gift actually was an inconvenience for them? We see that the disciples — Jesus’ closest companions — are actually criticizing the woman. They are sure the money could have been better spent! And they were so focused on the process that they missed the precious meaning of the gift itself.

Yet isn’t our own reaction the same? Don’t we get so caught up in the preparations for Christmas that the actual things that are supposed to help us reflect on the reason for Christmas become seen as … an inconvenience?

Notice Jesus’ response to these disciples: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.” (Vs. 10-13 NIV)

Now we begin to see the real reason why this woman anointed Jesus. It wasn’t supposed to be a simple gift. She was anointing Him for His upcoming death! Now the Bible doesn’t tell us if this woman is someone who followed Jesus regularly. She wasn’t of the “learned” society. Yet she was so focused on Jesus that she knew something His disciples choose not to even think about: She knew He would soon die! And as such, she gave everything she had to anoint His body and help prepare Him for the grave.

No, this isn’t a Christmas story, per se. It is, however, a story of sacrificial giving to our Lord and Saviour. It is a story that illustrates how we can get so caught up in our own agendas that we miss the ultimate blessing of worshiping Jesus. I want to challenge each of you today. No matter what you have on your agenda for today, no matter how “inconveniently placed” the Christmas Eve service may seem, make Jesus your focus! When you do, you will be giving Jesus a gift of the same calibre as the woman’s gift to Jesus! You will be commemorating His birth, yes, and His supremely unselfish sacrifice; but you will also be commemorating His death ln the cross for the Salvation of mankind! And in so doing, you will also warrant Jesus’ praise of your gift to Him. He will be saying, in essence, “Why are you bothering ____? He/she has done a beautiful thing for Me. He/she has recognized the profound meaning of My gift to mankind.”

No matter how busy you are today, make time for Jesus! Guaranteed you won’t regret it!

In His love,
Rob Chaffart
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries


A Gift for Jesus