6 Jesus was in Bethany. He was in the home of a man named Simon, who had a skin disease. 7 A woman came to Jesus with a special sealed jar of very expensive perfume. She poured the perfume on his head while he was at the table. 8 When the disciples saw this, they became angry. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “The perfume could have been sold at a high price. The money could have been given to poor people.” 10 Jesus was aware of this. So he said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 You will always have poor people with you. But you will not always have me. 12 She poured the perfume on my body to prepare me to be buried. 13 What I’m about to tell you is true. What she has done will be told anywhere this good news is preached all over the world. It will be told in memory of her.” 14 One of the Twelve went to the chief priests. His name was Judas Iscariot. 15 He asked, “What will you give me if I hand Jesus over to you?” So they counted out 30 silver coins for him. 16 From then on, Judas watched for the right time to hand Jesus over to them.
Wow now here is extravagance!
Mark’s and John’s accounts refer to this being a year’s wages, in today’s terms that is $79000 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics for May 2014! That’s one expensive bottle of perfume.
I would have recoiled with the sense of the waste – but Jesus embraces the anointing for burial! Perhaps I am too spiritual for Jesus – I know that sounds silly, but all too often I have very different standards to Jesus – here is one of them! And my standards are not always lesser – at least in my eyes but perhaps they are poorly focused – like in this case. The cries of those around Jesus were seemingly righteously focused, the alleviation of poverty and distress – yet Jesus calls theme to focus on Him.
This leads me to ask – where do I have differing standards to Jesus – higher, so called, or lesser. Where am I too spiritual for my own good and the good of the Gospel? How easily do I embrace those who are different, sinners, the up-and-out, the down-and-out? Where do I use my money well and where as waste? Am I focused on Jesus? This event seems to be a turning point for Judas and his preparedness to follow Jesus. So I ask where am I affronted by Jesus and what is my response – do I up and leave or by faith follow even when I do not understand?
Father – give me faith to follow, even when I do not understand. Help me to truly embrace You so that I can be Your light in the darkness that surrounds me.
Written by Ps. Richard Botta