Why This Waste?
I'm not done talking about money. The reason I have written on this and will continue to write on it is simply because, IT'S IMPORTANT!
Any of us with a sufficient level of moral conscience can be convicted of our sin and brought to a desire for repentance. A recognition of our hopeless condition and need for salvation is obvious if we will honestly look at our lives. But that is only the first step. We then have to live a life of faith and it is not natural for us. We have been programmed by the world system to think certain ways, and it is necessary to break that programming by repeatedly showing the difference between the world's ways and God's ways. So, all this talk about money is really about FAITH. It's important because, "The just shall live by faith."
And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. (Mark 14:3-9)
This same scene is recorded in John 12:3, where we see that it was Judas who complained. Judas was apparently dipping into the bag and taking money for himself and was upset because of that. Poor ol' Judas. He just never got it. Even after more than three years of walking day in and day out with Jesus, he still didn't understand. He was no doubt there when Jesus fed thousands with a small basket of food. Why would he need to steal or worry about a little box of ointment? The word translated "pence" in the King James version is actually a denarius. A denarius would have been about a days wages for a laborer, so the ointment poured over the head of Jesus was probably worth close to a year's wages. If you live in the United States, think of it as about $10,000 and you will get the idea. Even so, with the ability of Jesus to create food out of nothing, why would Judas be concerned about the wealth that was poured out. As I said, Judas just never got it.
Sadly, most people, including most Christians, don't get it either. Even today, people think that money spent for no reason other than to praise and worship God is just a waste. Why, it could have been used to buy food for the hungry, or provide shelter for the homeless. It could at least have been used to pay the expenses of a missionary to preach the gospel. While all of those things are good, we have to get rid of this idea of wealth that comes from the world and look at it the way our Lord does.
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. (Mark 12:42-44)
Such a lovely story isn't it? How many people have read that story in the Bible and really understood? To start with, the woman gave all that she had. She could have kept one of the coins for herself, but didn't. Even worse, she was donating to the treasury of the temple. The money would be taken in and used by the corrupt priests that would crucify Jesus.
Do you get it yet?
Try putting it into modern terms and see how it sounds. A poor widow, with only ten dollars to her name, sends all of what she has to some television preacher because she feels he is preaching the word of God correctly. If something like that happened today, there would be an outrage. How dare that television preacher with his fancy clothes and cars and what-not, take money from that poor little old lady! WHY THIS WASTE? THAT MONEY COULD HAVE BEEN USED TO HELP THE POOR WOMAN TAKE CARE OF HERSELF!
Do you get it yet?
God's ways are not our ways. Giving money out of appreciation of the things of God and a desire to give all for His kingdom is just not natural. When it happens, it is an expression of the spirit that places our love of God above all else. That is why it is pleasing to God. It is not a waste to give as the spirit moves, even to the last penny. To declare against someone giving out of love is to be the very thing that Judas was. Instead, we should marvel at the person's spirit and their love of God, just as Jesus did.
Now, do you get it?