Seize The Day
“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’”
John 12:3-5 (NIV)
It was the expense that upset and shocked Judas. To ‘waste’ around £26,000 (the average annual salary for a full-time employee in the UK at the beginning of 2013) on nothing more than a gesture seemed to be ludicrous, especially as there are so many poor people around. It wasn’t necessary either. After all Martha had produced a good celebratory meal for everyone. It was bound to have been special since Jesus had just restored her brother Lazarus to life (John 11). Surely this was enough?
When you look behind Judas’ comments, he is really implying that less than the very best is enough for Jesus. There was no need for Mary to go to such extravagant lengths to show her love. But Mary’s love for Jesus wouldn’t be contained or controlled, no matter the cost. And Jesus defends her actions, “‘Leave her alone,’ Jesus replied. ‘It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.’” (John 12:7-8)
Two things strike me about this incident: First, always give the best to Jesus. It will be expensive to follow and demonstrate our love for him, but I’m not thinking in monetary terms. To be a disciple of Jesus will cost us our time, our energy, our goals; indeed our life. What better thing can we give him?
Second, I think Mary is saying to us, as she was to those around her, “If you love somebody, show them now, because tomorrow may be too late.” We won’t always have loved ones with us and we may miss the opportunity to show them how much we love them. Carpe diem, let’s seize the day while we can, giving Jesus our best and showing those who are close to us how much we love them.
Father, please place in me the desire to give my whole life in service to your Son and to show how much I love my family and friends before tomorrow comes.
Study by Barry Robinson
About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.
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