Monday, April 15, 2019
“Then Mary took an extraordinary amount, almost three-quarters of a pound, of very expensive perfume made of pure nard. She anointed Jesus’ feet with it, then wiped his feet dry with her hair. The house was filled with the aroma of the perfume. Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), complained, “This perfume was worth a year’s wages! Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?” ( He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would take what was in it.) Then Jesus said, “Leave her alone. This perfume was to be used in preparation for my burial, and this is how she has used it. You will always have the poor among you, but you won’t always have me.” ~John 12:3-8
Welcome friends to a new week, Holy Week. Today, we read about Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume. She was questioned by Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples about using such an expensive item, but Jesus told him to leave her alone. Mary was honoring Jesus while he was still with them instead of waiting to use it for his burial preparations. Mary it seems from the writer, knew and believed what Jesus had been telling his closest followers, including her that he would soon have to die. Jesus goes onto to say in the following verse, “You will always have the poor among you, but you won’t always have me.” ~John 12:8. In response to Judas saying the perfume could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor.
Juan Huertas, the author of the pamphlet I am using, points out the human nature, human behavior of some individuals that believe they know the motives of other people. This is something I have struggled with most of my life. I make assumptions regarding people’s actions as being directed solely at me, with no supporting data whatsoever. If someone is a having a rough day, I used to take it personal, thinking I must have done something to cause this effect on that person. I certainly think a lot of myself, thinking that everyone’s behavior is a direct reflection on me and my interactions with them. As if the universe evolved around me and that I somehow have power over others!! Of brother!!! I’m not exactly sure how I came to believe such things but I’m thankful for caring people in my life showing me a better way to navigate life. There are many things we can do to try to convince others to act or feel a certain way but the true power is within the individuals themselves. We have the power of our own decisions. They may not be easy to but they belong to us. We really do not have the power to make people happy or sad, it must come from within. I lived many years thinking it was my job, my responsibility, my goal to make others happy. We can provide and offer support and even companionship but we do not have control only concern.
A great example, at least it has been for me is when driving and someone cuts you off in traffic. The assumptions I used to make was, “What a jerk!” Basically, summing the person up as rude and selfish. When in reality a million other things could be going on…maybe they were just given bad news, maybe they are rushing to the hospital, fleeing domestic violence, having a panic attack, daydreaming… The point I’m trying to make and that Juan is making is that we can’t read the minds of others and we need to stop making assumptions without evidence proving otherwise. We should be more loving and more accepting. We need to be more like Jesus.
Discipleship is doing as Jesus would do. It’s dying to self so we can live. During this Holy Week, let’s listen for the voice of Jesus. Let’s pause and ask ourselves, what would Jesus do(?). Are there things in your life that are tugging at you?
How is God getting your attention about the cross-bearing life? Prayerfully seeks God and his plans for you. ~Shalom
Breath Prayer: Faithful Lord,…help my unbelief.