The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Monday, June 8, 2015

Why this Waste?

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 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.
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

There are more sermons in the above passage than holes in a kilo of Swiss Cheeze.  The first one shows up in the phrase "In the home of Simon....the Leper"..... Jesus went where most of 'politically and socially correct' humanity would never go!... to the home of a man who had the despised and feared disease "Leprosy".  That tells us something about Jesus, and about ourselves.  But the salient lesson for today, is the juxtaposition of two value systems contained in this passage.

Secular Political Correctness vs Spiritual Renewal.

When this woman used some expensive ointment to anoint Jesus, she was criticized by those who felt the 'budget' could have been better targeted to the poor rather than the purity of Jesus.  How do people become wretchedly poor?  Some become that way simply because of bad choices, lack of education, others by  simply being victims of a huge 'machine' that has to room or time for the people that it consumes on it's way to personal profit and power.   

11 The poor you will always have with you,  (said Jesus).. 

and that's very true.  But what will motivate the rich to extend the hand of help and generosity to the innocently poor ?  What will move them away from a narcissistic self interest and power driven way of thinking about life?  Is it not something or someone bigger, mightier, holier than themselves?  This was Jesus point. 

 "but you will not always have me." 

12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial"

What was Jesus leading the disciples toward?  It was that personal renewal and regeneration that I referred to above. It's basis?  The reason he referred to his 'burial' rather than his earthly enthronement?  That's because there is a fundamental 'error' in humanity that needs to be repaired....as the prophet Isaiah declared about the Messiah:

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.  (Is 53)


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