Thursday, November 17, 2022
Not What It Looks Like
It sounded so spiritual. Yet Judas said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” (John 12:5 NKJV).
What prompted this criticism from Judas was Mary’s act of devotion. Things clearly had been coming to a head in Jesus’s ministry. He’d had a number of confrontations with the religious leaders, and they wanted Him dead.
Jesus was aware of this. He knew He was on the road to Calvary. So He decided to spend an evening with His friends at the home of Simon the leper. His close friends, Mary, Martha, and the newly resurrected Lazarus, joined them.
As everyone was taking in this night, Mary felt deeply moved to do something completely unexpected. She took a jar of expensive, fragrant perfume and poured it onto Jesus’s feet. She then wiped Jesus’s feet with her hair.
To the other disciples, Mary’s actions might have seemed extravagant. They were probably thinking, “That Judas! He’s so spiritual and concerned about the poor. And he has a point. This is wasteful! This is foolish!”
But John added this detail: “This [Judas] said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (verse 6 nkjv). In other words, Judas was adept at coming off as spiritual when, in reality, another agenda was at work.
Jesus rebuked Judas and the others who had joined in, saying, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? . . . I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed” (Mark 14:6, 9 NLT).
She who appeared frivolous and wasteful was actually the spiritual one. And he who appeared thrifty and compassionate was actually the unspiritual one. Things are not always as they appear.
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