(Read Matthew 26:6-16)
1) This field exercise is demonstrated by two people. Both reveal it and are memorialized for it. However, one guarded it. The other, whose name means “praise,” didn’t. Think about it.
2) (cp. John 12:1-9) This feast at Bethany is literally an experience for all the senses, one that only a few were sensing. That’s Jesus, Martha, her brother, Lazarus, her sister, Mary, who poured the ointment on Jesus, and let’s not forget the host, Simon the leper, who in all likelihood may have been healed by this time, but…you know how people get about your past…
But His disciples get preoccupied by their own sense of values, not to mention this strong fragrance in the house. In fact, we also know that the one most vocal about his frustrations will be just as instrumental in this scene as the woman’s offering.
3) Jesus’ brief tutorial on social poverty and spiritual values speaks so many volumes that we’re still gleaning from it today, exactly like He said we would. However, in that process, we’ll find ourselves in some unsolicited situation and we’ll have to ask ourselves, “Who’s calling the shots here?”
For example, Judas may have fled this very scene to arrange His betrayal but, as the prophet Zechariah says, Jesus didn’t flee. But He’s God. He can’t. Now I’m still working on the details, but it’s too interesting to ignore the repetitive mention of the traitor’s full name. We know that Judas is a variant for “Judah,” which means “praise.”
Of all Jesus’ followers, with one initial exception, Judas’ is the only surname we have, “Iscariot,” or “men of Kerioth.” The evidence so far points towards the nation Moab and notoriety. When I put the pieces together, the result is quite odd that Jesus would choose someone whose motives seem driven by power, privilege and self-interest, but (John 6:67-71)…”Who’s calling the shots here?”
This is just a little more proof positive of this simple point.
“Guard your praise and worship.”