Mark 14: Why Not Donate the Money?
Mark 14 begins with the familiar story of Jesus’ feet being anointed with a very costly ointment. Some of the disciples grumbled that the ointment could have been sold and the profits donated to the poor. However, here is how Jesus responds.
Mar 14:6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
Mar 14:7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
This is interesting because I, and most other people, would affirm that charity is a good thing. I think the Bible reinforces that as well. It is a good thing to take care of the poor, and I think that Jesus would have agreed.
However, in this particular situation, Jesus tells the disciples that they should not criticize. Certainly, He was aware that the money could have been donated to the poor. He defended her action nevertheless because what she had done was clearly even more important than charity.
I think about this in relation to all of the great things that we can do here on earth. Charity is still a great thing, and I would hope that we can all agree on that. However, honoring God is our top priority.
If honoring God is our top priority, then I think that charity is a natural outgrowth of that. If we are living in the way that God wants us to and are honoring Him with our lives, I think that we will be generous with our neighbors and be willing to lend a helping hand. After all, those are attributes that the Bible says are good. That will come out of having our priorities in the right order.
Could the ointment have been sold? Certainly. Could the money has been donated to the poor? Yes it could have. However, is it more valuable to have a one-time donation, or is it more valuable to have a person who was willing to honor Christ and live in a lifestyle that cultivates Christian values including charity? If this lady was willing to put of Jesus in such high esteem, her life made a bigger impact than that money ever could have. She can speak to every one of us about how valuable Jesus is.