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Mark 221 - Why This Waste?


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 wage and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.


Mark 14:4,5


Have you ever been criticized for doing the correct thing? Have you been taken out “behind the woodshed” when you did exactly the right thing? For all the right reasons. And you were severely condemned and even punished for it?


Just like me, I’m certain you have,. It makes us feel small and powerless. It makes us question ourselves and what we did. It makes us wonder if we really know what’s right.


But more importantly, it makes us question God. Where is he? Why doesn’t he stand up for me? Why doesn’t he get out his eternal megaphone and blast a powerful message that corrects and changes everyone’s opinion of us?


But God is silent. He doesn’t act or defend. He doesn’t step up to the plate and let everyone know how he feels. How he’s on our team. That he approves of who we are and what we’re doing.


The woman that just broke an expensive box and poured all the very expensive perfume on Jesus is the target of their attack. But they don’t just say their negative words and leave her alone. No, they keep going. On and on, they keep up their angry attack on her.


While they keep going on and on about her, no one stands up for her. Everyone at this dinner party certainly heard what they were saying about her and her wasteful extravagance. The other guests just kept silent while “some” got all huffy.


After all, why not sell it and give the money to the poor? That’s the most logical thing to do. The more normal thing to do. It would provide for lots and lots of people. This certainly was a better use of this precious resource.


I love this about indignant people. They always have something to say about what others are doing. But their commentary is offered while they’re quietly sitting on the sidelines of life. They’re not actively engaged in helping the poor. I’ll tell you what they’re doing, they’re actively engaged in helping themselves. Stuffing their face. They’re not giving to the poor. They’re giving out criticism while giving food to themselves.


These are the armchair quarterbacks of life. These are the commentators in the broadcast booth. While all the action is on the field, out in the elements, they sit in comfortable chairs, talking about how someone messed up. Using instant replay, they point out with clear and crisp commentary about how the quarterback should have seen the open receiver. How they should have cut to the left instead of the right.


Indignant people always come up with alternatives that someone else should be doing. They should’ve done it another way. But the indignant aren’t doing anything other than flapping their gums. They’re not living examples; they only offer empty commentary from the safety of the sidelines of life.


The indignant will never give anything so precious of their own. They will not risk the loss, no matter how desperate the need. They always criticize others but are silent about their own actions. They’re not the silent anything; they’re the loud and proud.


One other thing about the indignant: they go after the weak. They don’t criticize Jesus; they go after this individual woman. Like a pack of wolves, they separate the vulnerable from the pack. That way they’re easier to take down. To kill and eat.


It can be easy to stand by while the weak are attacked. After all, they aren’t attacking us or our loved ones. It’s someone else’s problem. Someone else’s responsibility. Someone else’s burden.


After all, if we say something, the indignant may turn their attention and attack us. They might turn their sights on us, and we certainly don’t want that. Do we?


There’s a price for standing up for the weak. For the poor. But that’s exactly what God did for us.


For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.


Romans 5:6, ESV


Christ had to come, suffer, and die while we were weak. We weren’t strong. He was. This is who God is. This is what he has done for us.


God wastes nothing. He died to give us new life. His direction for us is to be like him. To go and do the same.



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