14 Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 2 “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.” 3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages[a] and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you,[b] and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” 10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
“They should do church like this…” “That guy is really excessive in taste, he shouldn’t spend his money like that…” “Well technically the biblical way to go about this sort of ministry would be…”
I can nitpick very well, I can observe the way other people seek to love and follow Jesus and decide if it is ‘the best way’. This story from Jesus life challenges me greatly because it is a strong rebuke to this sort of behaviour. The way I read it, Jesus is basically saying “if you have great ideas for serving the poor, go do it! They aren’t hard to find. Just go do it and stop judging other people’s work.”
The other challenge to me is the way this woman has eyes only for Jesus, not romantically but in worshipful devotion. She is willing so pay a great price financially and socially to lavish her love on Jesus. On the other hand, Judas is willing to sell out Jesus for financial and social gain.
“Lord Jesus, draw my eyes and devotion entirely. Let there be no cost to great. Draw my eyes and devotion so entirely that I am not interested in critiquing other worshippers, other ministries. Take all of me Lord”.
Written by Andrew Mellor