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Two stories about how much money Jesus is worth

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During this morning's devotions (it's a habit you can't really live without, BTW), I came across two stories in Matthew 26, each of which puts a price on Jesus' head. In being set side-by-side in Matthew's Gospel, these two stories make quite a point.

Story 1: It is a couple of days before Jesus' death, and he is reclining at table with his disciples as usual. On this particular evening, a woman comes in carrying an alabaster vial of extremely expensive perfume. Today's top-dollar perfume is Clive Christian No. 1, valued at $12,721 per ounce. Picture a 3-4 ounce bottle of that.


Her gift is worth perhaps $40,000 in today's money, and the disciples smile with approval. In Jesus' circles, people often bring gifts, and Jesus' disciples convert them into disbursable resources and give the money to the poor. This is apparently what they assume will happen when they see the treasure the woman is carrying.

What the woman does next -- and what Jesus allow…