“But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray Him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:4).
Mary and Martha were single sisters who lived a life of ease. They were financially secure and were friends of Jesus. On this occasion, Mary, who owned the home where Jesus and His disciples were staying, broke open a new bottle of perfume and poured it on His feet, wiping them with her hair. This extravagant worship upset Judas, the Treasurer of the group. We observe a couple of mistakes from which we can learn:
- Judas thought he knew better than his Master. That’s a danger for each of us. Who is your Master?
- Judas second-guessed his hostess, Mary. How can you or I judge another’s expression of worship?
- As Treasurer, Judas assumed control of the money donors had supplied to Jesus’ ministry. Its always a struggle to manage what is someone’s else’s without their heart. Treasurers have killed many churches.
- Judas’s final mistake was that he spoke his opinion out loud in front of others. Jesus therefore had to publicly correct Judas, bringing embarrassment to him.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus rebuked. And He will rebuke any of us who get in the way of someone’s clumsy journey of faith.