But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”
Which is more important to you: the approval of people or the approval of God?
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We may quickly answer, “The approval of God.” But let’s be honest about this. We are very concerned about what people think about us. Why don’t we speak up for our faith? Because we don’t want to be laughed at. Why don’t we tell a friend the truth? Because we don’t want that friend to get upset with us.
But the Bible says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
The Bible tells the story of a woman whose critics unfairly judged her actions and said what she did was wrong when, in reality, what she did was really right.
Things were coming to a head in the life and ministry of Jesus. He had had a number of increasingly confrontational exchanges with the religious leaders and, in short, they wanted Him killed. Meanwhile, He decided to spend some time in Bethany, surrounded by friends in the home of Simon, who previously had leprosy. Lazarus, newly resurrected, was there. What a conversation that must have been. Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, was so deeply moved by what she saw that she brought an alabaster flask of very costly, fragrant oil and poured it on Jesus’ head.
What did Jesus think of this? He was impressed. In fact He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Matthew 26:13).
Mary was perceived as frivolous and silly and wasteful in the eyes of His disciples, when, in reality, she was perceptive and sacrificial. And Jesus commended her act of worship.