“For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”
– Jesus (Matthew 26:11)
Indignant, they asked: why the waste? as the woman poured a luxury perfume on Jesus.
The waste in question, by the way, cost nearly a year’s salary, and in today’s terms we could ballpark that anywhere around $20,000 dollars and up.
Gone, just like that.
The guise, or disguise (some think it was Judas who raised the objection), was that: we could have sold that, and given it to the poor.
Which sounds noble, indeed.
Jesus’ response: there will always be more money and more poor. “But you will not always have me.”
Our lesson: how we define waste comes with how we think about Jesus.
If he’s first—really first—then the answers to all of the problems we find are solved by doubling down on him.
But if he’s not, then indignant is the least we should be.