A woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?” (Mt 26:7-8)
Imagine that you are invited to a friend’s house for dinner one evening. Another friend at the dinner brings out a box of delicious, exotic, and costly desserts—just for you. And as you are enjoying the first bite, some of your closest friends at the party whisper among themselves: “Wow, that is super expensive, yet the other friend is giving it all to him?! Why this waste?” This would be hurtful, not to mention disrespectful.
In the eyes of the disciples, the value of the fragrant oil far exceeded that of Jesus. Unlike the anonymous woman who deemed Jesus more precious than her costly oil, the disciples did not recognize true value of Christ, even after following Him for three years.
Sometimes, others may think that our sacrifices for Christ are foolish or wasteful. It may be offering tithes out of a tight budget, or spending time to attend services throughout the week despite a busy schedule. It may be sacrificing our vacation days to attend spiritual seminars, or going out of our way to serve the Lord.
However, we have to learn from the anonymous woman to recognize the surpassing value of Christ. We have to see that the time and effort we give in spiritual worship yields greater value than anything else we do on a regular basis. We have to take out precious time from our daily schedules to worship God, to cultivate our spirituality, and to serve Him with love.
Through that additional hour of cultivation or that extra step we take in faith, we can demonstrate and bear witness to all creation just how important God is to us. In choosing to spend time with Jesus over worldly pleasures and excuses, we tell the Lord just how precious He is to us. Therefore, let’s not ask, “Why this waste?” towards the time we choose to give God, but consider “Why this waste?” for the time we spend in delaying to draw closer to Him.