Love & Hatred John 12:2-8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this text we have illustrations of the epitome of love: Mary who anointed the feet of Jesus, and hatred: Judas who spoke deceptively because he did not care for the poor. In these two you see the stark contrast between love and hatred.
In the house of Simon the leper, Mary broke open a very costly alabaster box of spikenard (Matt. 26:6-7, Mark 14:3, John 12:3) to anoint the head and feet of Jesus. There is another similar occurrence of Jesus being anointed in this manner in Luke 7:37-38. It was customary to clean the feet of a guest to remove the dust from the road (Luke 7:44). In these two cases extra care was given above and beyond what was customary to honor Jesus in recognition of Him as the Messiah. The use of the costly spikenard was an extra special gesture to convey the deepest level of respect, humility and love.
However, Judas and the Pharisees took offense at the extravagance (Mark 14:4-5) of using the equivalent of more than a year’s wage (Matt. 20:2) to wash feet. Mary was willing to give a gift worth a year’s wages to Jesus before He had even been crucified (Mark 14:9). Knowing now that Jesus died for your sins how much are you willing to give to the Lord Jesus Christ? Do what you can for Jesus before He gets here because He is coming soon.
Now we have the antithesis of Mary, Judas Iscariot the traitor. Jesus gave Judas the power to heal the sick and raise the dead and how did Judas repay Him? Judas looked at Jesus and Mary with indignation and asked, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. (John 12:5-6) The words of Judas sent a wave of discord through the disciples (Matt. 26:8). Where Mary cared for the Lord enough to give to Him everything she had, Judas, on the other hand, expressed jealousy towards the Lord Jesus Christ for receiving something that he wanted to get his hands on. Mary worshipped God and Judas worshipped self.