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Weekly Devotionals

Veracity, Not Vicinity

3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages[a] and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you,[b] and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over. – Mark 14:3-11 

This past week was Passion Week, and one of my favorite days of the week is Wednesday, which is also known as Spy Wednesday.I find this particular day so interesting because of the questions that I am confronted to ask myself every year around this time.

In this week’s passage, we see Judas Iscariot getting angry at Mary for pouring a pint of expensive perfume on Jesus. (In the book of Mark, we do not read of their particular names but in the book of John chapter 12, we see their names being mentioned in the same story.)

In verse 4, we see the word indignantly and in Greek, we understand that this word means to get angry because what is done is assumed to be the wrong thing. So we understand that Judas Iscariot got angry at Mary because what he believed was the wrong thing. That money could have been used to perhaps really help the poor, however, we know that that was not his true intention.

Following in verse 5, more words that reveal Judas’ real heart are “could have been”. In Greek, this word is dunamai, which is where the word dynamite comes from. Dunamai can mean several things besides could have been, such as being able to or to be strong enough to. What this shows about Judas’ heart is that he believed in the power of money over the power of Jesus. Unfortunately, he was blind to how Jesus’ blood was strong enough to wash away our sins. So the reason why I love this particular scene is that it reveals one thing, which I want us to consider together this week.

Following Jesus, or being a Christian, is not about vicinity, but is about veracity. Just because you are at church or near Christians, that does not make you a Christ follower. Judas for about 3 years was always around Jesus and the other disciples. He was as close to the very source of the living water as anyone in the history of mankind. He did what they did. He ate what they ate. He saw and heard what others saw and heard. Not to mention, he had direct interactions with Jesus, the son of God himself. Yet we know how the Judas’ life ended. He hung himself from a tree, ashamed of his actions.

I want to invite you this week in re-examining your hearts by asking if there is truth and faithfulness in your actions. Do you believe what kept Jesus on that cross were not the nails that his enemies pounded but it was his love for you? Do you live a life unashamed since Jesus took upon all of your shame? Why do you serve the church and the community that God has planted you in?

I pray that we will not wait for the next Easter to be so quick to re-examine our hearts but become more sensitive each day that God gifts us to see whether all of our thoughts and hearts are aligned and fixed on God.