Matthew 26:6-9: 6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
I grew up in a German family where nothing was wasted. Jeans were patched again and again. Socks were darned. Leftovers were saved or at least given to the cats outside in the barn. When the disciples saw this woman pour a $50,000 jar of perfume on the head of Jesus, all they could see was the waste. John tells us that Judas was especially upset because he handled the purse for the disciples. In his mind, anything that didn’t go through his hands was wasted.
What is money wasted and what is money well spent? The woman in the story, whom John identifies as Mary from Bethany, thought only of Jesus and to honor him with the best thing that she had. She was not just pouring out her perfume for Jesus. She was pouring out her love for Jesus. To her the perfume would have been wasted on herself, a self indulgent splurge. It was not wasted on Jesus.
The point of the story is that Jesus is worth it. He is worth everything we have and are. No one but Jesus can give us joy and hope and purpose. He is our all in all. What we spend on ourselves is often wasted, an unnecessary extravagance. What we spend on Jesus, whether time or money, is never wasted.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are my Treasure, my hope in life and in death. Without you I am destitute and my life is wasted. With you, I am filled with hope and my life has meaning and purpose. Remind me that a life lived for you is a life well spent. Amen.