Giving It All Away

John 12 – Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was from, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him) , said “Why was the ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor? He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

Are you a giver or a taker? A worshiper like Mary, or a thief like Judas?

Worship is about recognizing the worth of someone else. She had valuable perfume. It was worth a year’s pay. How much would that be for you? Do the math. Imagine giving something that expensive over to Jesus.

Mary could see that “in him was life and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4)

Can we see it?

Our world is full of people places and things that promise to give us life. But at the end of the day they are really only a temporary fix. They may make you happy for a moment, but it does not last. Eventually they will disappoint and you will start looking around for something else.

Jesus is different and Mary gets it. Jesus alone gives life abundant (John 10:10). Judas cannot see it, even though it is staring him in the face. He was looking to money, possessions, and physical comforts to give him life and it turned him into a stingy thief. Mary on the other hand was filled with selfless gratitude.

In Jesus is life and this is what drew people to him. It caused Mary to spend a year’s pay on him.

She did not know at the time what Jesus would have to spend in order to give her abundant life. But we know.

His life was poured out for us just like Mary’s perfume was poured out for him.

Can you see it?

When you see how much he loved you, it changes your heart from stinginess to selflessness.  The question changes from Judas’ question-“Why would you spend so much on Jesus?” To Mary’s question, “Jesus, why would you spend so much on me?”

What will your response be to him today?

What if you gave him your reputation and began sharing your faith more freely? What if you gave him your money and surrendered a year’s pay? What if you gave him your home and began inviting neighbors and co-workers over for meals?

Whatever we give to him, we will never surpass what he has already given for us, he is more than worth it.

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