Unlimited: Wasted Money
Apr 2, 2021 629
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume?It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly (Mark 14:4–5, NIV).
While Jesus reclined at the table, at dinner in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came in with a jar of very expensive perfume. She broke the jar open, and poured the perfume over the head. Some of the others present at this dinner were shocked and horrified.
Simon, who hosted this feast, was a wealthy man. But he hadn’t become wealthy by making unwise decisions with his money. He had saved, and he had invested, and he had been very, very careful.
Furthermore, they were living in very difficult economic times. The Roman tax-collectors oppressed everyone. Most people were subsistence farmers, with barely enough to feed their families. We know from skeletal remains that malnutrition and disease were everywhere. If the disciples of Jesus were at the feast, then some of these dinner guests must have been very poor indeed.
So, it’s easy to understand their criticism of the apparent wastefulness of this uninvited woman at this dinner.
With their judgment and condemnation, they tried to make the woman feel ashamed. There was logic to what they said. This perfume, that had been extravagantly spilt in a few moments, could have been used to feed and clothe many people.
It’s easy for us to spiritualise this away and think, “Well, that’s a really beautiful spiritual lesson, but when it comes to my own possessions, God doesn’t expect me to do something as illogical as that!”
But if you do that, aren’t you adopting the attitude of those present at the feast who criticised this woman?
There are challenging issues here.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Imagine yourself in this dinner and think realistically about how you would have reacted. What do you think this says about your spiritual values today? Think it through. How do you lavishly love Jesus?