"Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head."
Especially during His last days on earth, Jesus spoke much of His death, burial, and resurrection. It seemed that no one understood what He was talking about. The only ones that ever made any comment or showed any understanding of the matter were Lazarus' sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha conveyed some understanding of resurrection and the fact that Jesus was the Messiah in John 11. In this current passage, we see Mary coming to anoint Jesus in lieu of His burial.
When Mary came to anoint Jesus she brought a box or flask full of spikenard. This was an extremely costly substance. We are told by Bible scholars that the amount of ointment she brought would be worth about the yearly wage of the average worker. Many believe that it was probably something that was passed down from generation to generation. There is no doubt that it was valuable and very precious to the owner. Some of those nearby even scoffed at the seeming waste of the substance. They thought it could have been of better use somewhere else. Instead, it was poured all over Jesus feet and dripping to the ground.
As I studied this passage, an interesting thought came to my mind. While this substance did have great monetary value, it was really of very little good to any one until it was poured out. In order to be poured out though, the vessel that it was in had to be broken. I believe with all of my heart that when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives at salvation, we are of great value to the Lord Almighty. Within us lies the very God that spoke the whole world into being. The same God that stilled the storms over the Sea of Galilee dwells in our hearts. However, we are like that box full of spikenard. There may be great value in us, but we are of no use to God until we have been broken.
The one characteristic that is consistent with those who live lives completely for God's glory is that they can trace a time that they laid before God as a broken people and gave up all of their own rights, hopes, dreams, and plans to God. These people recognized who God is, and that in turn helped them to realize who they were. They were able to cry out to God in the desperation of their soul and plead for His help to accomplish even the smallest of tasks each day. They recognized that prayer was the privilege of unworthy man to enter into the throne of God's glory. They saw their own sin and failings as God saw them. They grieved over that sin and repented of it. They considered God each day before they attempted to accomplish any thing. They walked about with joy in their hearts but pain in their souls for a fallen world. They lived in a constant state of prayer.
Would you say that you are a person that has been broken before God? If not, there is so much that God wants to do with you through His power, but you must be a broken vessel. I would encourage you to pray and ask God to break you, but I must give you a warning. If you decide to pray this prayer for brokenness, understand that you might not enjoy the process. There will most definitely be pain and loss, but the reward of knowing God in a more intimate way far outweighs any thing that you may lose.
May you live a spiritually broken life!