Matthew 26:6-16 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.
What’s it worth to me? What am I willing to give? What am I willing to take? …in exchange for my relationship with Jesus. The woman with the alabaster jar was willing to give what amounted to, some say, a year’s wages. More than that she was giving over her life. She was compelled to the feet of Jesus to pour out her life and make a change for the better.
The disciples couldn’t believe that Jesus would allow such extravagance on His behalf. Why not sell this perfume and help the poor? In our day I’m sure there would be some other such worthy cause that would take what I have to give to Jesus. My personal relationship has to be worth more than all the causes of the world. Jesus came to restore our walk with God. What was broken by Adam and Eve in the garden is mended by Jesus shed blood on the cross. In order to have a personal relationship with Jesus, it must be just that “personal.” No one can look at what I have to give and tell me whether or not it is a worthy exchange.
One of those who walked with Jesus and listened to His teachings yet remained without understanding was Judas Iscariot. How did Judas walk the same path as Jesus, yet still misunderstand what He was here to accomplish? We have some of the same misconceptions in our day. Don’t we listen to tele-evangelist talk about how well we should be doing? Don’t we listen to their claims that we should be living financially triumphant lives even when the economy is bad? Don’t get me wrong I believe that God will take care of the economy of His people but Jesus never lived in extravagance and wealth and I don’t understand why we should expect more. Judas misunderstood what was truly important and sometimes we do the same.
Thirty pieces of silver…that’s the price that Judas put on his relationship with Jesus. I can just imagine him standing there with his hand stretched out. The white-robed Pharisee would drop one coin after another into the palm of his hand. Ten…twenty…twenty-five…twenty-eight…thirty silver coins. Between each drop of the coin the priest would look at Judas’ face to see if that was the number that would make him betray his relationship with Jesus. How different are we? Every day something new is dropped into our lives by the world. A new job, a new car, a new love-interest, a little extra time in bed, a little more me-time, a television program, a phone call, a ministry project, on and on they go. We give up our relationship with Jesus for sometimes far less than thirty pieces of silver.
Judas had a preconceived idea of what he thought Jesus was there to do for him. He must have believed that the kingdom was going to make him a wealthy man but he couldn’t see the forest for the trees. His heart and mind were made up on his image of what his relationship with Jesus should be and he was never open to anything else. That’s the difference between him and the woman with the perfume. She came open to whatever Jesus would do for her and she poured out her life. Judas kept his love for the worldly things and hoped that Jesus would fulfill the things he already wanted.
So…what’s it worth to me? What am I willing to give up? What will I sacrifice today to have a few moments at His feet?
Renea; A wonderful and well written reminder of true treasure and its worth! I recently heard a message taught, "How much is one Soul Worth? "If we would spend more time with the Master, I believe we would know. Thank You for this timely nugget of truth! God Bless You.