WHAT A WASTE!
Jesus, I lay my life before You now. Let the presence of Your Spirit
Read Mark 14:1–11
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
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.
a Mark 14:5 Greek than three hundred denarii
b Mark 14:7 See Deut. 15:11.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7). What does this mean for you?
“What a waste!” exclaim those observing the woman and Jesus. “The poor you will always have with you,” says Jesus, “She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
The heart of this passage is surrounded by evil intent (1, 2, 10, 11), and features the struggle between God’s kingdom and worldly values in the minds of the onlookers. Which is greater – a reckless, costly abandonment to love God, or the pursuit of personal wealth, even if for a good cause? The woman gave the most valuable thing she had for Jesus’ sake. She reflected Jesus’ own love for her by what she did. “She did what she could,” said Jesus, not what she couldn’t. The scene reveals what God considers of greatest value: a wholehearted outpouring of love for God – the God who first loved us (1 John 4:19). Contrast this with the worldliness of those looking on. Money has value, but the woman knows “money can’t buy me love!” And money loses value to us the moment we die.
So how do we love? Is our pocketbook the closest thing to our heart, as money seems to dominate our worldly culture? How balanced is our love of Jesus and our worldliness?
Which voice wins out? The one that tells you to lavish your love “recklessly” upon Christ? Or the voice that says to “look out for number one”? What might Christ be asking you to pour at His feet?
Lord, teach us to look out for times and opportunities when we can show our faith with reckless abandon, simply out of love for You!