I’ve been reading my Bible first thing in the morning the past few days. I started in the Gospel of John. I just read John 12.1-11. It’s one of my favorite passages that talks about the lavish abundance Jesus brings. And when you believe that all things belong to God it transforms your thinking about earning and spending. It was Mary who came in to the dinner with very expensive perfume, and she anointed Jesus feet with the perfume, massaged them, and dried them with her hair. This was the same Mary who was sister to Martha and Lazarus. This particular text doesn’t say if this Mary was Mary of Magdala, but I think most scholars think she was one in the same Mary. Her gratitude for Jesus stands out in contrast to the other parties attending the dinner. The subject of the poor comes up because the perfume could have been sold to help the poor, but Jesus defends Mary’s actions. He makes reference to his burial not far off, and isn’t it funny that an affluent man provided the grave for Jesus’ burial. Our attitude about money is so important.
Rich and poor alike sin in the presence of the Creator, but money is neither good or evil. It’s a necessity that made things such that Mary did for the Savior possible, and it was a beautiful thing she did. Money can corrupt, but it’s the presence of the Son that purifies those who choose to put their faith in him. Our focus, intentions and attitude about who “owns” money is essential as we journey this side of eternity.
The Father longs for us to be wise stewards of the resources he provides, and he didn’t hesitate to state that Mary used the perfume wisely. We have a tendency to harshly judge people we are jealous of, and we condemn those who commit fraud, but our thoughts should center around the agenda of Christ when it comes to finances.
I’m not God, but when I am able I will use my finances to glorify him, and give others hope.