Almost everyone gets excited when they find themselves in contact with or in the company of someone very important or popular. Imagine someone rings your door bell and on opening the door you find yourself staring at a very important personality you know so well but have never met before. How would you react?
I have watched TV shows where people got unexpected visitors like movie stars, popular musicians and other personalities known either nationally or globally and their reactions usually ranged from staring in shock to screaming in excitement.
People become popular because they accomplished something that made them known. There are however ordinary people among us who do extraordinary things that men may not count as important enough to make them popular but in the eyes of God, these are people are doing extraordinary things.
One day, Jesus was having a meal in the home of man called Simon. While he was eating, a woman came in with what the Bible called a beautiful jar of expensive perfume and poured it on his head. This action provoked a reaction from the disciples but not the one you would expect. They were actually upset with this woman, not because she came uninvited to the meal or disturbed Jesus while he was having his meal. No, they were upset because they considered her action a waste of resources that could have been put into good use like selling the perfume and using the proceeds to feed the poor.
Some facts emerge from this event. First, the disciples knew that this was no ordinary perfume. They knew how expensive it was. Second, they could not understand why the Lord did not stop the woman from what she was doing. Finally, this woman was unknown and unnamed.
Jesus’ response was to ask them to stop criticising the woman describing her actions as, “doing such a good thing to me” (Matthew 26:13) He went ahead to say, “I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” (Matthew 26:13) We don’t know this woman’s name but over two thousand years since that event, we are still reading and discussing what this woman did.
This was not the only time Jesus was anointed with expensive perfume and eliciting the same response from the disciples. This time, we know the name of the woman. Her name was Mary and she was the sister of Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead. We know this is a different event because while the location of the first event was the house of Simon, a leper that Jesus healed, this event took place in the house of Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead. The first woman poured the perfume on Jesus’ head, but Mary poured it on His feet and wiped it with her hair (John 12:3)
This time, Judas Iscariot led the protest with the same complaint, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages” (John 12:5) The book of John shed more insight into why Judas reacted the way he did. He was the treasurer and had been stealing from the purse. To him, this was potentially loss of funds that he would have had opportunity to skim from. Once again, Jesus responded the to the criticism, “Leave her alone, It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.” (John 12:7) He followed up by saying that there would always be opportunity to take care of the poor but he would only be physically present for a little while.
These were ordinary women who did extraordinary things and are mentioned in the scriptures - the same books containing the stories of Abraham, Moses, the Kings of Israel and the Acts of the Apostles.
You don’t have to be popular to do extraordinary things for God. It does not matter whether all you do is mop the floor before service begins, help out in the media team hidden away from everyone else or even spending time in the prayer room way before the service begins.
People might not see you or know you but your actions haven’t gone unnoticed in heaven. As far as heaven is concerned, you are as important as the Worship leader, Deacon, Preacher or Instrumentalist.
Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from doing the things you do in service to God. Those around you may not understand, dare I say even your Christian brothers and sisters but trust me, God understands why you do and appreciates it. Keep on doing extraordinary things!