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Daily Reading: 20th February 2015

John 12.7-8

7 Then Jesus said: “Leave her, so that she might keep it for the preparation of My burial.”

8 For you always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have Me with you.”

When we are attacked it is always good to have someone who will defend us, and speak up for us.

It may seem as though Judas had indirectly attacked Mary, since he did not mention her by name. It may seem as though he attacked her actions, but not her motives. However, Jesus knew that Judas had attacked both Mary and her motives.

Jesus was quick to defend Mary as He told Judas to leave her alone.

It is possible that Judas may have thought that he was on safe ground by saying what he said. Perhaps he thought that Jesus would agree with him, or at least that some of the other disciples would agree with his attack on Mary, by suggesting that the poor could have benefitted quite substantially.

Instead Judas discovered that Jesus rejected what he had said, and that she had performed a wonderful service in advance. Maybe Judas wished he had never said anything, and maybe if any of the other disciples agreed with him, they were thankful they had not said it or agreed with Judas.

How many times have we said something which has caused others to confront us with words that defend the very person or thing that we have attacked?

God’s word tells us: The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him – Proverbs 18.17 (NIV).

As we read the story our first reaction may be to think that Judas was right. There were many, many people who were poor and three hundred denarius would have been a substantial amount to help them.

Then, we read what Jesus said, we see a different side to things. We begin to understand something that was probably beyond the understanding of Mary and the disciples.

Jesus had informed His disciples He was going to be killed, but that He would be raised to life on the third day. However, most probably the disciples did not grasp this, and Mary probably may not have known what Jesus said.

We know from the events after the crucifixion of Jesus that the women did not have the opportunity to anoint the body of Jesus, because He had been raised. Therefore, what Mary did by anointing His feet with the spikenard was something she would not have been able to do after His death, because He had been raised from the dead. There would be no body to anoint.

When the Holy Spirit prompts us to do things for Jesus, we must do it and not rely on our human understanding, or lack of it.

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