Wasting Yourself on Jesus
– By Ron Simkins
Both John 12 and Mark 14 recount an event in which a woman responds to Jesus in a strange and unique way. Mary, who is from a rather affluent family that has adopted Jesus and his followers, pours perfume over Jesus head and feet—perfume that is worth “more than a year’s minimum daily wages.”
Although one cannot really bring ancient daily wages as an equivalency into the daily wages of an affluent country such as the USA, doing so is still the only way we can feel the power of the narrative. So, picture this relatively quiet, third child, a well-off woman, pouring about $18,000 worth of perfume—perhaps a large part of her dowry—over Jesus in about ten minutes.
Not surprisingly, this touching, intimate moment quickly turned into an argument. Why wasn’t something more productive and helpful done with $18,000 than pouring it out within minutes? Just think—it could have bankrolled the Daily Bread soup kitchen we host for months.
Jesus was probably hurt that his few minutes of being loved by someone (who seemed to understand that he really was under tremendous stress and needed to be loved) was turned into an argument. But, what was done was done. So, he responded:
1. Leave her alone.
2. What she has done for me is beautiful.
3. You will be able to help the poor tomorrow, and the next day, and every day, and you should, but today, this is what should have happened. It was timely for my burial.
4. I will never forget what she has done for me.
5. Don’t your forget what she has done either.
So, a question for you: When was the last time someone accused you of wasting yourself on Jesus? Have you recently loved Jesus in a manner that others thought was a waste of your talent, money, time, abilities, intelligence, etc.? Does deep loving sometimes involve wasting yourself on the other person in the relationship?