What a Waste!

Matthew 26:8-9. “But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.”

From John’s gospel, we learn that the aroma of the ointment filled the house. It’s sweetness must have also dripped onto Jesus’ face, and his robe and the garment under the robe. It collected in His beard, and His moustache .  I imagine that anyone who came near Him for the next week caught a lingering scent as He passed by, or as they crowded around Him as He entered Jerusalem.  His robe was still carrying the rich aroma as the Roman soldiers gathered to gamble for possession of the garment. Often used to anoint a dead body, the spikenard lasted a long time and helped to cover the awful stench of death.  Surely, heads were turned as He passed by.

The wonderful aroma as the ointment spilled over Jesus’ head and feet was a type of His death. His blood spilled out for us as He gave His life for ours is surely the sweetest anointing possible.

But there had to be a dark side.  John’s gospel tells us that it was Judas who started the conversation; Judas, the thief and betrayer of Jesus.  And the other disciples don’t seem to have had any reason to disagree with him.

“What a waste!  What is Mary doing, using up all that valuable spikenard on Jesus?  Why, we could have taken that ointment and sold it for a princely sum, and of course then we would have distributed the money to the poor. Instead, Mary has used it all up on Jesus.  I’m sure He would have approved more if she had done something more practical with it. After all, she could have just used a few drops to show her devotion, instead of wasting the whole flask!”

I love the way Jesus responds.

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