But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
It was kind of a shocking moment when Mary comes and breaks her box of precious ointment to pour it upon the head of Jesus. It seemed a rare display of love and devotion, a selfless offering to the One who had done so much for so many even before giving His life on the cross. It was a sweet-smelling savor, a sacrifice before His impending sacrifice where Mary could anoint her Lord for His burial. Out of thankfulness and perhaps with a unique understanding of what would soon take place, Mary honors Jesus with the most valuable thing she could give. And in the midst of this tender act of devotion, some scoffers have to speak their piece, calling it a waste.
We may often face such questions ourselves when we are willing to pour out all that we have for our Lord. When we give to Him what is most valuable to us, others may see it as a waste. When we give all and are willing to dedicate our lives to Christ and His cause, the world around us may scoff and tell us it is a waste of time. When we seek to honor God through some special sacrifice, some may think it a waste to give anything at all to Him. They can imagine thousands of other uses for the money and the time and the effort that we give in serving the Lord.
But to the heart of the one who breaks that alabaster box and empties it completely, it hardly even seems enough. This heart would seek to gain more only to be able to give more to Jesus and present their offerings at His feet. The heart of this kind of giver knows that a whole lifetime spent in giving and serving would never be enough to give to the one who deserves so much more than we can possibly ever offer. And this heart knows that anything given for Jesus, no matter its value, is never a waste. This heart knows that what is not spent for Him is what is wasted.
It is never a waste to be poured out for Jesus, to give all, to use up what we have, and to sacrifice what the world would call valuable. So, will we agree that it is a waste and start to question what we’re doing, or will we go on in faith and continue to give our all for the One who gave His all for us? Let’s continue to bring our offerings and make our sacrifices without regard for our critics, knowing that Jesus values what we present to Him out of love.