You Don’t Always Get What You Want


Jesus didn't come to give us what we want, but to give us what we need.

You can’t always get what you want. But sometimes you might find that you get what you need.

I couldn’t help but think of these words while I thought about a moment in the last week of Jesus’ life recorded in Matthew’s Gospel.

Just before Passover, an unnamed woman snuck into a dinner where Jesus was and broke open an expensive jar of perfume. She anointed His head with it as if she knew it would be the last time she’d have a chance to do it.

The rumors were flying. The powers were looking for Jesus. They would find Him, and when they did, they would kill Him.

In one of the boldest moments of worship ever recorded, she brought the best she had—maybe all she had—and poured it all out on Jesus.

Jesus had done something in her life. We don’t know what, but the only way she knew how to say “thanks” was a bold, unforgettable, extravagant act of worship.

Judas wasn’t impressed.

We’re told that after watching this, Judas left and made his deal with the religious leaders to betray Jesus. There was something in that moment, with the expensive perfume running down the face of Jesus, when Judas must have realized that Jesus would never be the kind of Messiah he wanted Him to be.

For Jesus, it would never be about power or money. It would always be about people like the woman who was now anointing His head with expensive perfume.

I was reminded of all of the conversations I’ve had with people who weren’t getting what they wanted out of church or our worship services. Like Judas, a lot of us are disappointed Jesus won’t be the kind of Messiah we want Him to be.

But Holy Week reminds us that Jesus didn’t come to give us what we want, but to give us what we need.

The woman with the perfume got it.

I pray we do too.

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