4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.
7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”
9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
Our attitude toward church money might be depicted in this passage. Mary came and lavishly worshipped the Lord Jesus. She spent nearly an entire year’s wages on this lavish worship. She gave freely and she gave from a heart filled with love and awe for the Savior. To me, Mary depicts the church who understands that the purpose of church money is to give it away to show the love of Christ to those in their community and around the world. Churches that are open with their money become known for their open hearts.
On the other hand, Judas saw this lavish worship and immediately went to committee. How could this woman waste all of this money one on event? Shouldn’t she have let them oversee her gift so they could have sold some of it and used some of it in worship? Wouldn’t this money have greater benefited the group as a whole than being lavishly “wasted” on one act of worship? To me, Judas depicts the tight-fisted church that saves hundreds of thousands of dollars just in case they need it someday. This is the church that turns away the needy and does not increase their missions support but has financial goals to stock-pile their income for a “rainy day.”
When we were at Victory Homes, I travelled over 50,000 miles every year going to church after church letting them know that we had financial and prayer needs to reach those troubled boys for Christ. We lived on a shoe-string. God provided, we ate. We were in all sizes of churches, churches that could have really been a help to a struggling ministry. Very few churches rose to the occasion of our need. I learned then that the Christian church is supposed to collect money to pay their bills and to give money away. When the bottom line is people we should not be stock-pilers but givers. Judas was a stock-piler; Mary was a giver. Jesus received Mary’s gift and worship but he rebuked Judas for his attitude toward Mary’s gift.
Let us learn to be more like Mary in our giving. Give to worship and worship with abandon and awe. We are giving to Christ Himself with all of our acts of worshipful giving.
Ben and Anna left this morning. Their pod was packed yesterday; their car was full this morning. It is a beautiful day to travel and they are off to a new chapter in their lives. What a joy they have been to us as they have served us and we have served with them. They are ready to step into this new opportunity at Foothills Bible Church with both feet and even at a run. It is a great opportunity and we are thankful that God used us to prepare them for this. No, it is not easy to say goodbye, tears flow. Yes, it is joyous to see them go on in their service for Christ.
Thank you to all who came by Sunday to make our going away party such a wonderful day for them. Ben and Anna were in awe at the outpouring of love and friendship that you lathered on them. Bobbi and I were thrilled to see so many come by and enjoy our time with them. The yard was full, the pool was packed, and all the food was eaten. It was a good day.
Pray for Mike Sell as he begins to lead the youth group this Wednesday night. We are thankful that Mike is with us and that he wants this responsibility. He has already shown himself to be faithful to the Lord, to the Word, and to God’s call on his life. Mike is still a full-time student so he will need help with the youth. If you are interested please come see me.
Have a great day in the Lord,