The stern rebuke of Jesus towards Judas in protection of what Mary did to Him was followed by an accurate assessment of the situation: “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me.” The warm actions of Mary stood in sharp contrast with the cold remarks of Judas. Here, the Gospel writer John fills in the gaps, exposing the intentions of Judas and what he had been doing all along (stealing).
What Mary did was extravagant, anointing Jesus with a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard. The whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume and everyone in the room could smell it. The motivation of Mary must have been from her gratitude because the Lord had brought her brother back from the realm of the dead. Martha, a doing person, expressed her gratitude by serving the Lord. Mary, being more reserved and a feeling person, did a beautiful thing in the eyes of Jesus. Without knowing it, she ministered to the Lord and anointed Him for His burial. Martha touched the Lord’s body but Mary touched Jesus’ heart. What she did was prophetic.
Judas had no regards for the feelings of his Lord. Physically, he tried to take away His money and spiritually, he was trying to betray Jesus. His evil intention was rooted in his love for money, only recognizing the cost but not the value of things. He could not help but to comment on the tremendous waste and suggested something that he had no conviction of: giving to the poor. When one is criticizing the good deeds of another person, the person is trying to cover up his own sin in that area. Many, like the Pharisees, are trying to hide their own weaknesses by becoming legalistic. Some turn the Word and command of God into a theological discussion and arguments, because they are not heeding the Word of God.
All acts of kindness, if not done to the Lord, become exercises in futility. Our first work must be ministering to the Lord and not to the needy. They would always have the poor with them but they did not always have Jesus. No amount of work or ministry can take the place of our relationship with the Lord. Today, many of God’s children are busy doing things to help other or ministering at church but they do not spend time with the Lord. Some pastors only read the Word when they have to prepare for their Sunday sermons.
Are you focusing on doing instead of being? Do you keep yourself busy and active in ministry? How long has it been since you come to the foot of Jesus and smell the sweet aroma of His presence? Activism is a way to escape facing our reality that is God Himself. Cut down on your activities so that you may meet with God now.
Ps 71:15-18 1 Sam 29:1-31:13 John 11:54-12:19 Prov 15:24-26