Our scripture this morning is John 12:4-8.

But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

In this passage we begin to see more clearly that Judas is not in line with what Jesus is doing. His condemnation of Mary’s “waste” is not sincere, indeed it is self-serving as John records “he was a thief.” Jesus puts Judas in his place telling him “leave her alone.”

Mary’s gift was extravagant but it showed her love for Jesus. She not only gave up a costly item but humbled herself in public by washing His feet and drying them with her hair. This was not the behavior of Jewish women in polite society, but her devotion was stronger than her pride.

Judas was envious of the gift that was not his to give. He wanted it for himself, as it is unlikely that more than a token amount would have reached the poor. Jesus tells Him “you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” We know Jesus cared for the poor more than anyone; His statement is merely to put our focus on Him, even when we give. We must love as He did, not just expect money to solve the problem.

Loving Lord, sometimes we find ourselves thinking like Judas as money, time or talent is “wasted” on worship. Let us remember that generosity flows out of our love for You and we shouldn’t worry what or how others are giving. Amen.

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