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Theft, Deceit and True Worship

By Pastor Ronald Bernier, Master Builders Church

When Mary took very costly oil (spikenard) and anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping His feet with her hair, the Bible tells us that “the house was filled with fragrant oil” (John 12:3). This was an act of worship from Mary to Jesus that was not without great cost. Another verse says that this oil was so precious it could have been sold for three hundred danarii, which was about a years wage for a common worker.

To me, it speaks of the high worth that Mary had for Jesus. She poured out what was valuable to her in reverence to Him. Like David, who bought a threshing field to build an altar to the Lord, he was adamant about paying the full price, not wanting to worship the Lord with what did not cost him something.

Contrast to this scene, is Judas, who speaking like he is righteous, objects to this act of worship, claiming the value could be spent better elsewhere, for example on the poor. But John gives us a side note to this story, to reveal the real intentions and motivations of the heart of Judas when he wrote: “This he said, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was in it” (John 12:6).

I have encountered many people through the years. Some will give beyond what they have in worship to the Lord (not just talking about money, but a laid-down life). Others are always looking for angles, schemes, advantages, personal gain. They might look like they are on the same page, but their life testimony shows otherwise. Somehow they pose as having nothing to give the Lord, but whenever they have a need, somehow the resources are there.

In John’s story, Jesus corrects Judas and commends Mary, making the comment, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial” (John 12:7). Mary, once again chose the better thing. This story begs the question, “What are we willing to give in worship to the Lord?” May it not be pretense, deceit, or theft, but something that is costly and it’s fragrance fills the room.

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