By Not Known
People and things in life that bother us can reveal a lot about our values and priorities. When the morning toast was accidentally burnt and you snapped at your wife, what did it reveal? When a child scored 89/100 for his spelling test and received a stern verbal lashing from his parent, what did it reveal? While the family pet snuggled comfortably into its perfumed bed after a premium grade feed, the tired foreign maid retreated to her cold mattress on the store-room floor with only leftover food… what did that reveal? How much do these examples bother you and why?
Some of us may be bothered because we value PEOPLE more than THINGS. What is a piece of charred bread or a 89-mark score compared to a wife or a child? Relationships should be kept and protected at all costs. Life does not simply consist of things or achievements.
Some of us may be bothered because we are more WELFARE-driven than PURPOSE-driven. While a test is important, the feelings and esteem of a child matter more. Shouldn’t a maid who is also human receive better treatment than a pet? How we treat people matter in life.
In Mark 14, the lavishing of the expensive perfume on Jesus’ head deeply bothered the disciples. What a waste of the perfume (v4)! How many poor people could have been helped by the money from its sale (v5)? The disciples valued the THING, but missed the more important PERSON who received it (v7). They rightfully valued the WELFARE of others, but missed the more important revelatory PURPOSE in that occasion concerning Christ’s atoning death and burial (v8). Those disciples were very human in their reactions. They had a good heart for people. But when it comes to the GOSPEL, i.e. Person and Purpose of Jesus Christ, everything else must fade into the background, however valid and important those other people, things, or purposes may be.
The Gospel challenges our values and priorities. Many sincere Christians desire to serve God and do good, but are divided over what to do and how to do them. Some allow their goodness to shine brighter than the Gospel. Some are so purpose-driven that they limit the Gospel light.
Whichever the case, Christians are not called to be philanthropists who do charitable works. Christians are called to do Gospel works that tell of the charity of God in saving sinners. Remember Jesus’ words – “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.” (v7)