God’s Word Goes Forth: Trust in God’s Promises
John 11:45-12:11: The council began plotting Jesus’ death because they feared that if people started to worship him, the Romans would destroy the Jewish people. Jesus returns to Bethany, where Mary pours expensive oil on him in preparation for his burial.
Today's Scripture: John 12:3
Then Mary took a whole pint of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard, poured it on Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house.
45 Many of the people who had come to visit Mary saw what Jesus did, and they believed in him. 46 But some of them returned to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the Pharisees and the chief priests met with the Council and said, “What shall we do? Look at all the miracles this man is performing! 48 If we let him go on in this way, everyone will believe in him, and the Roman authorities will take action and destroy our Temple and our nation! ” 49 One of them, named Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, said, “What fools you are! 50 Don't you realize that it is better for you to have one man die for the people, instead of having the whole nation destroyed? ” 51 Actually, he did not say this of his own accord; rather, as he was High Priest that year, he was prophesying that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish people, 52 and not only for them, but also to bring together into one body all the scattered people of God. 53 From that day on the Jewish authorities made plans to kill Jesus. 54 So Jesus did not travel openly in Judea, but left and went to a place near the desert, to a town named Ephraim, where he stayed with the disciples. 55 The time for the Passover Festival was near, and many people went up from the country to Jerusalem to perform the ritual of purification before the festival. 56 They were looking for Jesus, and as they gathered in the Temple, they asked one another, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?” 57 The chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where Jesus was, he must report it, so that they could arrest him. 1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, the man he had raised from death. 2 They prepared a dinner for him there, which Martha helped serve; Lazarus was one of those who were sitting at the table with Jesus. 3 Then Mary took a whole pint of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard, poured it on Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house. 4 One of Jesus' disciples, Judas Iscariot—the one who was going to betray him—said, 5 “Why wasn't this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor? ” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would help himself from it. 7 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Let her keep what she has for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me. ” 9 A large number of people heard that Jesus was in Bethany, so they went there, not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from death. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus too, 11 because on his account many Jews were rejecting them and believing in Jesus.
In ancient times, perfumed ointment and oil were kept in sealed jars, which could be opened only by breaking them. Such perfume was very expensive. What was Judas’ complaint? How did Jesus respond? How do you go about discerning the best way to use precious resources?
Loving God, in a world of scarcity, make me mindful of your great abundance. Help me discern the best uses of your resources, not for personal gain, but to share your justice, love and grace with others. Amen.
Those facing economic turmoil