Useless Unless Broken

Whosoever shall fall upon this stone shall be broken… Luke 20:18

If there had been directions on the bottom of the alabaster box mentioned in the fourteenth chapter of Mark, they would have read “useless unless broken.” What an example this woman demonstrated by her actions, showing us the progression into the perfect will of God. Even though the scripture doesn’t give her name, it does declare that this act of love would be a memorial for her forever. If all we see is that she anointed Jesus, then we’ve missed a beautiful truth.

The first thing the lady with the alabaster box did was “come” to Jesus. With a very precious and extremely expensive box of ointment, spikenard, she “came” to Jesus, and passed all the indignant eyes.

The second thing she did was “give” and in so doing, gave Him her all. Many of us come to Jesus, but refuse to give Him everything, and by holding on to certain things we miss the fullness of Christ in our lives. It will cost us our lives to serve the Lord.

The third thing she did was to “break”; she broke open the alabaster box. Regardless of the cost of this alabaster box of precious spikenard, it was “useless unless broken.” Likewise, our lives are useless as long as we are secure within ourselves and refuse to be broken for the cause of Christ. “Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Luke 20:18 (KJV) The Last thing this woman did was “pour out” the ointment on the Lord’s feet. When the disciples began to murmur against her, Jesus said, “Leave her alone; she’s preparing me for my burial.” Since the cross, whenever we pour ourselves out before the Lord, we are no longer preparing Him for burial, but we are declaring His resurrection.

We must approach Jesus in the same manner and attitude as the alabaster box lady. We must “come” to Christ on our own, even when circumstances try to prevent our coming. We must “give” ourselves all-inclusively to the Lord without holding back anything. Then we must be willing to “break” anything in ourselves that would hinder our walk with Him. Our pride, our self-sufficiency, and our will must fall upon the rock of Christ because we will be “useless unless broken.” It is when we approach our Lord with this heart, humility and honesty that He is able to pour us out as witnesses to a hurting world.

Pastor Hal Steenson



2 thoughts on “Useless Unless Broken

  1. Mr. Steenson, your devotionals are easy to read, but really pack a wallop. Thank you. I did find that Spikenard is still used today as an aromatherapy. It’s very expensive and it claims to calm emotional pain. How appropriate it was to use that beautiful oil on Christ.

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