In the early years of our marriage, my wife and I answered the call to go into full time children’s evangelistic ministry. Much to our surprise, there were those who were discouraging and critical of us answering that call. The question to examine today is, are you one to criticize a person who ministers?
Thankfully we answered God’s call without yielding to the critics. God blessed us with 8 years of ministering to children before He called us to pastoral ministry. Now, let’s look at our story in Matthew 26.
This perfume could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor. Matthew 26:9
In chapter 26 of Matthew, Jesus and His disciples arrived in Bethany at the home of a man called Simon. Evidently, this man had been healed by Jesus because verse 6 says that he was a man who had previously had leprosy.
Verse 7 tells us, While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. Who was this woman? In John chapter 11 it is recorded that the woman who did this act was Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha.
This makes sense because Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived in Bethany, possibly neighbors with Simon.
Verse 8 says The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. Tradition tells us that Judas may have been the one who brought up the expense of the perfume. In the chronological order of events, it was right after this meal that Judas went to seek out the Jewish leaders to betray Jesus.
Did Judas Criticize the Kingdom of Jesus?
He was under the impression that Jesus would become king and free Israel from Roman rule. Maybe he felt that if Jesus wasted money like this, he ought to at least be king so there would be an endless supply of funds.
Did he conclude that enough was enough? In his view, they were poor! It was obvious that there wasn’t a lot of money in the treasury. This was evidence by the fact that Jesus sent Peter fishing just to pay the taxes.
The consensus that this woman found a way to waste fine ointment instead of selling it to raise funds. They must have forgotten that the perfume wasn’t theirs. Ministry funds didn’t buy it though. They actually had no say over the perfume whatsoever.
Look how Jesus responded to what she had done. But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? In this case, he said, you will always have the poor with you.
Just by us talking about it in this devotion, we are is fulfilling scripture. Because verse 13 says, I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.
How Critical Am I of a Person Who Ministers?
This scriptural episode makes me wonder how many times I may have done the same thing? You know, objecting to a person’s actions when they wanted to do something special for God. Being quick to criticize!
I may have thought that what they were doing was a bad idea or a waste of money. I think I am learning to mind my own business when it comes to how others want to give to God.
I’m learning that free advice is usually worth what it costs. And here’s a pill that is often hard for me to swallow. I might not be the wise person that I sometimes think I am.
Maybe, just maybe, I am growing in the Lord! I believe that is called maturing in Jesus. It’s a goal He wants each of us to achieve.
Lord, I’m always open to your advice, but keep me from offering my own unsolicited advice to others. And help me to not criticize others.
Read all about Jesus Anointed at Bethany in Matthew 26.
A related post for reading “Staying Tuned-In to God’s Perfect Will for Your Life.“
You would enjoy reading the cornerstone post on discipleship called How To Be An Effective Devoted Disciple Of Jesus.
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