WAS IT A WASTE?
Have an honest conversation with God about your attitude to money.
Read Matthew 26:1–16
The Plot Against Jesus
1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 5 “But not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is your most important possession?
Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry now focuses on the events leading to his death. Nothing of what is about to unfold is going to be a surprise to Jesus. What do you find reassuring about Jesus’ knowledge of events about to unfold (1,2) in light of the scheming of the religious leaders (3–5)?
A nameless woman’s beautiful, intimate, and generous act of anointing Jesus is a sign of her love and devotion towards him. Jesus sees it as a preparation for what is to come and he commends
her for what she has done. In contrast the disciples see her behavior as an act of extravagant waste. They would have had much better plans for the use of this resource.
Jesus’ response to them is not uncaring about the poor, but rather a challenge to their perspective and priorities at that point. Was this the tipping point for Judas? It is hard to know what was going on in his mind that led to his betraying Jesus. The juxtaposition of these contrasting views of money at this crucial point in Jesus’ ministry is a challenge to us. We should beware lest we “know the price of everything and the value of nothing” (Oscar Wilde).
Are you able to entrust your financial situation to the one who knows all things and holds your future in his hands? Do you show your trust by giving when he tells you to?
Lord, all I have is Yours. May I not hold tightly to my possessions but use them instead for Your glory.