We all think that we are better than someone. We just might not realise it.
Maybe it’s that person who you work with, who seems to do everything so slowly, and then takes extended lunch breaks!
Maybe it’s that lady you know who has a baby, yet abandons it to go out partying every other weekend.It might even be one of your close friends, that secretly you think you are better than, in some way.
The disciples felt this way about a certain woman who poured expensive perfume over Jesus feet.
I think I can understand the disciples indignation, and would have probably stood with them, asking why this woman didn’t instead use the money to feed the poor.
The thing is, the disciples probably weren’t saying this to be kind or helpful or because they genuinely wanted to help the poor. They were probably saying this because they thought it make them look more righteous than the woman. They probably thought it was what Jesus would have wanted them to say, and that he would have praised them for it.
They probably weren’t expecting to be rebuked this time. After all, what they were complaining about sounded so right!
That woman was actually doing something beautiful, but the disciples had already judged her. She was a sinful woman after all! And it didn’t take them much imagination to guess how she had been able to afford it.
They thought they had a moral high ground. But Jesus knew their hearts when rebuked them:
6 “Leave her alone,” Jesus said. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 You will always have poor people with you. You can help them any time you want to. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body to prepare me to be buried. 9 What I’m about to tell you is true. What she has done will be told anywhere the good news is preached all over the world. It will be told in memory of her.” (Mark 14: 6-9)
Maybe sometimes our indignation is right, but I suspect that often it isn’t, and that maybe its just a way to make ourselves look better.