This is Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter. During this week we take time to walk through the life of Christ leading up to His resurrection. Many of you know Good Friday, Maundy Thursday and of course Easter Sunday, but did you know today is Holy Wednesday or Spy Wednesday.
Although we're not sure the exact chronological order of events, here's traditionally what is celebrated this day:
"While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as 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.'
Aware of this, Jesus said to them, 'Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this Gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.'
Then one of the Twelve... the one called Judas Iscariot... went to the chief priests and asked, 'What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?' So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand Him over."
I want to just tell you a few things I noticed in this passage.
1) Jesus was at a leper's house.
Jesus was/is the friend of outcasts and sinners. He spent time hanging out with the people that no one else wanted to be with. I imagine that Jesus had healed Simon from his leprosy earlier, but people still knew Simon as Simon the Leper. Leper's were outcasts who literally were kicked out of the town and forced to live away from the community. Simon may have moved back into town after being healed but people still identified him as a leprous outcast.
Do I love like Jesus? Do I love those society doesn't?
2) Mary loved extravagantly.
The Gospel of John identifies the woman in this story as Mary the sister of Lazarus and Martha. Mary poured expensive perfume all over the head of Jesus. Imagine this liquid dripping down the head of Jesus and on to the eating area. Imagine the aroma that filled the room. This was an extravagant and expensive way to honor Jesus while He was still with her but the disciples were too worried about the money "wasted".
Do I love extravagantly? Or do I worry about "wasting" my time, energy and money on Jesus?
3) Judas missed real treasure.
In John chapter 12 we read that Judas was amongst the disciples that were worried about the "wasted" money that Mary had extravagantly poured on Jesus' head. In John we are told that Judas wasn't really worried about the poor, rather he had been stealing from the money bag that he, the disciples and Jesus shared.
Then in Matthew we see that Judas agreed to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. See, thirty pieces of silver was the price of a slave. Judas was so greedy that he sold Jesus' life for thirty pieces of silver, but what he missed was that he sold his own soul for a slave's rate. Judas may have been upset that Jesus' kingdom wasn't going to come with wealth but instead with sacrifice and so Judas wanted to get treasure while he could. The sad irony is that in doing this Judas missed out on the greatest treasure of all... Jesus.
Do I recognize the worth of Jesus? Or am I worried about getting treasure while I can? Am I missing out on ruling with Christ in exchange for selling myself as a slave to sin?
Love like Jesus, love Jesus extravagantly and treasure Jesus and His ways today.