The disciples watched as a flask of ointment, worth approximately an entire year’s salary for a working man, was poured out and gone in an instant. They saw a lost opportunity. They saw a loss of incredible financial resources. They saw waste. But Jesus saw an act of worship.
“What a waste of talent.”
I sank in my chair. I tried thinking of a compelling response as my professor continued to express his disappointment when he learned I would be going into the ministry rather than pursuing a career in social psychology. He could not fathom why I would ever waste my talent and “throw it all away in some church.”
Yet, what my professor did not understand was that the true waste would have been to spend my life in pursuit of anything other than obedience to Jesus.
During the final week of his life on earth, Jesus was enjoying dinner with friends. A woman came with a flask of very expensive ointment. She broke the flask and poured its contents over Jesus’ head. The fragrance of her worship filled the home. There were some who became indignant over this extravagant act. They wanted to know, “Why this waste?” The disciples watched as a flask of ointment, worth approximately an entire year’s salary for a working man, was poured out and gone in an instant. They saw a lost opportunity. They saw a loss of incredible financial resources. They saw waste. But Jesus saw an act of worship.
Jesus responded to their indignation, “She has done a beautiful thing to me” (Mark 14:6; cf. Matt 26:10). Jesus affirmed that this was the best use of her wealth. She knew the infinite worth of Christ and she demonstrated that no earthly treasure could compare to the riches of the glory of her Savior. She lavishly worshiped and Jesus affirmed her sacrifice.
Christ-follower, it is imperative that we have the right perspective of waste. Our world would say that going into the ministry, consenting to long hours, emotional exhaustion, and smaller paychecks is a waste of time and a forfeiture of potential wealth. After all, there are things to achieve and money to make. The unbelieving world would say that staying at home with your children is a waste. A waste of time, talent, and a hard-earned college degree. Our culture would have us believe that time spent in pursuit of Christ is a waste of precious hours that we could use to pursue more beneficial things like work, a fit physique, a Pinterest-worthy home, or picture-perfect outings to post on Instagram.