But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor’.
At first glance, the cry of the disciples over the pouring out of this fragrant oil seems justifiable. It’s estimated that the oil was worth a year’s wages, a very large sum of money that could have been used to do great things. Further reading into Scripture, however, shows us that their motives were wrong. Judas Iscariot, the one who voiced his disapproval and later betrayed Jesus for money, claimed it was wasteful to pour out such an offering when it could have been used to help the poor.
This criticism was revealing of his true motives, as the Bible says he was a thief, and carried the money box (John 12:6). Judas was greedy and covetous, the idea of a year’s worth of money being poured out for Christ was painful to his flesh because he desired it for himself. Yet this woman poured out her offering without even being asked, because Jesus was worth more to her. When you find yourself critical of the church, her leaders, or her followers, you may find upon self-examination that it’s because your selfish motives are being hindered.
Like Judas, you may be disguising your criticism as righteousness to justify your thoughts and actions. This isn’t always the cause, but it’s certainly a prevailing one in the church today. Judas was unable to let go of his selfish desires for the sake of Christ, and it destroyed both his body and soul in the end. It’s a decision we must all make, Jesus or the world? Spirit or flesh? Enter through the narrow gate, for broad is the road that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13).