Why This Waste?

"How can I express all that is in my heart toward Him?" the woman ponders as she wrestles with her own anxious thoughts. "What do I have to offer?"

Never rich, always poor... she firmly takes in hand the alabaster flask and gazes upon it with serious intent, remembering the many years of toil spent to gain its precious contents. Yet now it holds such little worth in comparison to Him. Even among the rich it is a treasure eagerly sought after -- what she could live on if she were to sell it.

With determined steps she approaches the crowded room. An indebted friend, known in the town of Bethany as Simon the Leper, had graciously invited Yahshua and His disciples into his house. Though their conversation is at times somber, her heart is as light and fresh as the evening breeze. She listens intently, her hopes centered on Him and how to do all she can for Him.

Watching, waiting for the opportune moment, she is deeply moved by the overwhelming love He expresses, though she cannot grasp the deeper meaning of His imminent departure. Sensing the urgency of the moment, her only thought is to be by His side to serve Him. "I must do all that I can to express the love, respect, and devotion I feel in my heart for Him."

Having thought and deliberated long over what she is about to do, she slips in quietly but confidently and kneels by His side. Deliberately, she raises her calloused hands which bear the mark of the hard-working poor, seemingly unconscious of all the wide-eyed onlookers. Time stands still. She breaks the sealed flask and instantly the aromatic scent of the precious spikenard wafts into the evening air, filling the room with its delicate and sweet fragrance.

Generously she pours the flask's cherished contents upon His head in highest admiration and honor for who she recognizes Him to be. Then, with the graceful movement of one truly humble, she bows to anoint His feet with the remaining portion of this rare ointment. Radiant in her countenance, she wipes His feet with her hair.

Still holding the flask, she gazes upon the feet that brought the message of such good news to her. Though it escapes her notice, some in the room grimace. Far from being happy with her gift, they are incensed and offended by her actions -- especially one man.

Affectionately considered by Yahshua as a friend and brother, Judas is strangely disturbed by the lavish display of the woman's embarrassing love. Shattering the hushed stillness with his indignant reaction, he rebukes her sharply, "Why are you wasting that fragrant and expensive oil? Do you not realize that it could have been sold for as much as three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"

Stunned, but not surprised by Judas's response, Yahshua says, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good deed to Me. The poor you have with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not always have. She has done all she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will be told in memory of her."

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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