Please read John 12:1-8 this morning. Several times this week I have mentioned the danger of selectively reading a single verse. Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading or memorizing single verses of Scripture, it’s just that without reading the whole story we may miss important parts of the lesson.

Jesus has begun His final journey to Jerusalem, knowing that death at the hands of the mob, the religious leaders and the government awaits Him there. He is undeterred, but pauses for a moment of relaxation with close friends for dinner in Bethany. However, even in this happy time, there is conflict.

Mary anoints Him using expensive perfume, an act of love that shows her devotion. Judas protests that it is a waste and Jesus steps in to share what is coming in the next week, reproving Judas for his accusation. He teaches them that what one does for Him in love is between them and not for another to analyze or criticize.

We too may fall into this trap that prevents us from working together as the body of Christ, worrying about what someone else is doing or how they are doing it. This only distracts us from our call to love one another and make disciples of all the world. To disrupt our ministry, Satan doesn’t need to destroy us, only to divert or divide us.

Loving Lord, give us clarity to see the work You have for us, and the focus to complete it, not being distracted by what others do. Help us to be supportive of the ministry of our brothers and sisters, knowing that their work is as important as our own. Amen.

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