The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Don't waste your money...

Quit wasting your money might be the theme of this story from Jesus’ life.

While he (Jesus) was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

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.

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Notice the location: the home of an untouchable. Jesus likes to invite himself into the homes and lives of people who live on the fringes of society. Notice the woman who brought the perfume: a sinner according to the Gospel of St. Luke. Tradition and Biblical scholarship suggest she was a prostitute. Jesus attracts those who society wants to call moral reprobates. Notice the response of the some of the audience: they are critical of the gift. The money should have given to the poor. Jesus attracts lavish worship by those who know the value of the mercy shown them.

Ron Friesen © 2015

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