Saying « Amen » to the Devil

The way I imagine it:

Judas saw her first.

What was Mary up to anyway ? Judas had never liked her much. She was too … what? Emotional? Yeah, but it was more than that. She didn’t have any common sense, he thought. She was too “spiritual” for his taste.

Mary slipped behind Jesus, there where he was lounging at the low table with others and she broke the neck off the alabaster bottle that she held. A beautiful smell floated out of the vase and touched everyone in the room.

Jesus looked back over his shoulder to see what was happening.

Judas lounged with the other disciples at their table. Suddenly a sour look possessed his face. Why, that was nard! What was that silly woman doing now?

Mary took the open box and began to pour it on Jesus head. She then poured the other part on his feet and began to wipe the Master’s feet with her hair.

People looked on in wonder. Judas looked on in disgust. Already his brain calculated the cost. “I can’t understand this woman,” he muttered to himself. “Think what she could have bought with the sale of that perfume. That was probably a good part of her savings. What an airhead!”

Then, “Boy, if she had given the price of that to us, I could have used a part of it to finish paying off that field I purchased.” Judas kept the money for Jesus’ team and his fingers had been getting stickier and stickier lately.

His irritation bubbled over. “What in the world are you doing woman!” he cried out. “You could have sold that perfume for nearly a year’s wages. Think how many poor people we could have helped with that money! What good does it do to waste it like that?”

“Yeah,” echoed Simon the Canaanite. “The poor people!” Bartholomew and James Alphaeson shook their heads in indignant agreement. Others also seemed upset at Mary’s act.

Jesus sat up. He addressed Judas directly.

“Leave her alone!” Jesus commanded. “Why are you hurting her? She’s done a beautiful thing to me. You’ve always got the poor with you, but not me. She’s sensed what is coming and she’s embalmed my body before it enters the tomb.”

It was true. Even after all the suffering he would endure the next few hours, the soldiers who bent close to his hair still would smell this wonderful perfume.

“I’m going to tell you something,” Jesus continued. “Everywhere in the world where this gospel is preached, they’ll talk about what this woman has done today.”

Judas stared at the Master defiantly. The air was electric and confused. Something snapped in the disciple as he broke off eye contact and frowned furiously at the floor.

John had seemed to catch the beauty of the moment and though he understood what Judas was saying about the poor, he couldn’t help but feel the wonder of worship that Mary had expressed towards the Master.

Judas’ outburst had nearly spoiled the moment. The music started again and people turned back to their conversations, but at first they were stilted and difficult.

The angry disciple listened to the other disciples gossip about what just happened for a few minutes, most of them agreeing with him. But then he could take it no more.  A heavy, beautiful odor of perfume reminded him of why he was angry.

“Excuse me!” he said to Simon the leper as he strode past. “I need to get some air.”

Think about it:

Judas calculated the value (Mk. 14:5); the Bible just said it was very expensive (v. 3), but Judas had already calculated its value at a year’s wages. Materialism evaluates things by their monetary value and not their underlying value.

Satan entered Judas. This seemed to be the happening that finally opened his heart completely to the enemy. Others agreed but Judas let down the barrier of resistance.

Greed  understands neither worship nor generosity.

Money to help the poor never lacks—neither the opportunity to worship the Lord with our goods.

Lots of disciples said “amen” to the devil! Jesus had once said to his disciples that one of them was a devil, speaking of Judas. When this “devil” criticized Mary several of the disciples raised their voices in agreement. We need to make sure that we don’t say, “Amen!” to the devil.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *