But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
In my years as a pastor, a lot of people have asked me, “Can you be a Christian and still (fill in the blank)?” I don’t even think the particular thing they are asking is important. The bigger issue is why they are even asking it. Another way to frame the question is, “How much can I get away with and still go to heaven?”
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The question they ought to be asking is, “Because I have this incredible salvation, how can I show God how much I love Him? What can I do for His kingdom?” That is the question we all ought to be asking.
Yet there are many people who just want to give God the bare minimum. They will read the Bible—if they find time in their busy schedule. After they have read all their newspapers and visited all the websites they want to and watched all their TV programs, they will get around to the Bible eventually.
They will pray a little prayer before a meal, maybe. They will sing a worship song in church, but not too loud. They will put something in the offering, if they have some spare change.
This is what I call the Judas mentality. When Mary took a flask of costly oil and anointed Jesus with it, it cost her everything. It was a very valuable gift. Its street value was $25,000 to $35,000. And Judas Iscariot, who knew the price of everything and the value of nothing, led the charge in accusing Mary of waste.
But Mary demonstrated a sense of abandon. She took a risk. And Jesus was deeply moved by what she did, because He saw it as an act of amazing devotion.
When was the last time you took a risk for the kingdom of God?