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Love That Looks Like Waste February 23, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Quotes.


Since you won’t be around for a couple of days, I won’t bother to respond to your last post. Perhaps we’ll wrap that up another time, but I know if was profitable for me to think about some of that stuff. Anyway, I’m not sure if you saw this one, but in the recent Desiring God newsletter, Jon Bloom has written some challenging words on Mary’s extravagant worship in John 12:1-8:

Judas simply could not understand Mary’s ridiculous decision. During dinner she had just taken a jar of expensive perfume and dumped it on Jesus’ feet! That perfume was worth almost a year’s wages. What a waste! Just think what could have been done with that money.

“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”

But helping the poor wasn’t really Judas’ concern. “He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief and being in charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6). Judas was Judas’ concern.

John 12 shows Mary and Judas in stark contrast. One “wasted” her costly perfume on Jesus’ feet. The other stole from Jesus’ moneybag.

What was motivating them? Gain. They both pursued the treasure they believed would make them happy. To Mary, Jesus was the Pearl of Great Price, far more precious than money. To Judas, thirty pieces of silver was a fair price for the Pearl.

Once again the Bible beautifully illustrates Christian Hedonism. We pour out our love, our time, our energy, our money—in other words, our worship—on what we treasure most. And when we see others worshiping what we consider less valuable, we view it as a waste.

In Judas’ criticism of Mary we hear what the world thinks of those who give something precious to Jesus. Why this waste? Couldn’t your time or money or mind have been better spent?

To follow Jesus means sometimes choosing to lose what the world sees as gain. Jesus said, “Whoever loves his life loses it. And whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). “Hating your life in this world” means foregoing worldly gain to have eternal gain.

The truth is that this kind of life is worship, not waste. Like Mary pouring out her perfume, a life of sacrificial love for Jesus shows how precious he really is. And it preaches to a bewildered world that Christ is gain and the real waste is gaining the world while losing your soul.

So who is telling you that you are wasting your life? The world? Or Jesus? You eventually hear it from one or the other. Whose opinion influences you the most?

Let us strive, brother, to hear the world tell us that we are wasting our lives, not Jesus. By God’s grace, I have heard that rebuke from people in this world. And I long to never hear it come from the lips of Jesus.




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