In Matthew 26, we read the story of a woman who poured expensive perfume on Jesus as an expression of her love for God who had freed her from the effects of sin in her life. This perfume was worth a year’s wages.
Paul talks about how faith without works is dead. To prove this, he challenges his readers to show their faith without works (doing stuff), and he would show his by doing stuff.
When God has freed us from the effects of sin, we overflow with gratitude towards him, with that overflow affecting those around us. It makes no difference whether it’s forgiveness from our imperfections (sins) or healing – physical, mental, relational or spiritual. Sometimes our acts of gratitude are extravagant – like a guy buying his bride the most expensive diamond ring possible. Typically our expressions are more mundane, touching those around us in practical ways, but in all, the christian life is an extravagant overflow of love as we are restored to our created image of our extravagant God.
Out of our overflow of love for God, we instinctively commit acts of charity to those around us. These “works” are evidence of God at work in us.
6 Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon, a man who had suffered from a skin disease. 7 While Jesus was sitting there, a woman went to him with a bottle of very expensive perfume and poured it on his head. 8 The disciples were irritated when they saw this. They asked, “Why did she waste it like this? 9 It could have been sold for a high price, and the money could have been given to the poor.” 10 Since Jesus knew what was going on, he said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 11 You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me with you. 12 She poured this perfume on my body before it is placed in a tomb. 13 I can guarantee this truth: Wherever this Good News is spoken in the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”