Friday, April 16, 2010

The Choices of Mary and Judas

Matthew 26:6-13 says the following:

And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. 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.” But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 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.” [The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Mt 26:6–13.]

This passage deals with a couple of people. The first person is Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, as recorded in John 12:3-4. The second person is not really seen in this Gospel account, however, in the Gospel of John we see that it is Judas who makes the objection. Therefore, we have two different people contrasting what should be done with the expensive oil. Mary seized the opportunity to serve Jesus by anointing His feet with this costly perfume. Judas Iscariot, however, chose to criticize this woman for her act. Judas, being the disciples' treasurer, is more concerned about the cost of the oil rather than Christ Himself. Who do you think made the better choice?

Most of us would probably answer Mary. Why is that? Because what she did was a sacrificial act for the Lord. Judas, however, could care less about the anointing of Jesus' body, but rather desired to have the money that was equivalent to the oil's value. Sometimes we make the decision of Judas when it comes to service. Sometimes we choose to focus on the material rather than Christ. We may have a motive that seems "spiritual" but we miss the Will of Christ. We know that Judas missed Christ altogether.

Let me challenge you today to focus on Christ before anything else. It may mean the difference between obedience and disobedience.

In Christ,

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