I wrote this a while back for Mary’s anointing of Jesus, and I thought it fit pretty well here.
Jesus speaking: Leave Mary alone. (To Judas) You’re not alone in your thoughts, brother; (to all) I know that. There are others here that share your feelings. But please do not make the mistake of placing the material above the spiritual; wealth and status are no substitute for faith and obedience. Does it not say “There will always be poor people in the land”?
Caring for the poor is a sacred duty because it is a concern of God’s own heart. If you follow Him, then it must be a concern of your heart as well. Even burying family is put second to responding to me and the call of His kingdom.
(To Judas) Is it better to provide honor to the dead, or to cause that death? Those who delight in their own “holiness” and worldly importance are beyond me. Anyone that puts this world ahead of eternity is dead to the Father. You say that “money is tangible” and that it “lasts”. How much money can you take into the house of my Father? Do you think you will have need for “tangible” things there? While you chase gold here, one day it will be under the feet of the believer in heaven. Nothing on this earth will ever be of greater value than the God who loves us and who will die to save all mankind.
With one selfless act, she has shown all of you her love for me. Yes, there were other uses that she could have put this gift to, but it was hers, and she chose to sacrifice a gift worth a year’s wages to honor me. She did not do this out of vanity or blind conceit; she did this to show her thanks to Abba God for bringing back her beloved brother to his family. She did this to honor the Son of Man and show her gratitude for the price that will be paid. Everything she has in this world she’s willing to forfeit to proclaim her future in eternity. That she willingly poured it on dirty feet shows her attitude of service to the Lord our God.
I did not ask her to do this, to humble herself before me, wiping my feet with her hair, but she knew this perfume was to be saved for the day of my burial. How much more worthy is it now, to allow the sweet smell to fill our nostrils and show her love, which is so much sweeter?
This is not to say that possessing worldly goods is bad, but we do have to have our priorities in order. Remember, the passage about money is probably one of the most misquoted verses ever. It is not that “money is the root of all evil”, but rather that “love of money is the root of some evil”. One of the dangers of wealth is that it is very easy to get attached to the ‘things’, and when that happens, it is very possible for those ‘things’ to become idols.
Why was Judas critical of Mary’s lovely deed? Judas viewed her act as extravagant wastefulness because of greed. A person views things according to what is inside their heart or soul. Shortly after I was saved, I carried on this ‘Judas tradition’. I had a friend whose wife had cheated on him. Rather than do everything I could to help them reconcile, I allowed my fears and struggles with my own adultery to color my judgment. I was afraid that if I did not condemn her and advise him to divorce her, that my own unconfessed sins would come to light somehow. Not one of my better moments, let me tell you.
We have to be on guard against ourselves, and the beast we all carry inside. When I feel strongly about an issue now, I like to step back and examine why I feel the way I do. This is another point where journaling really shows its value. When I start writing about a subject, it allows me to put my thoughts on the paper in black and white. Then I can examine them on their own merits, rather than letting emotions intrude and cloud the issue. If I spend too much time in my head, I can come up with some pretty outrageous stuff, but as long as I take the time to clear out the clutter by writing it out, I find that I conduct myself in a much more Christ-like fashion.Read Day 11 Devotion by Cristy