“But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’” John 12:4-8
In this passage we see the tension of stewardship. How are we to use our assets? How will we use our assets? We’ve heard this same sentiment expressed in our local congregations. “Why are we spending all this money to go to ___, to help people there when we there are hurting people in our own community? It is a great question. I believe I experienced an answer to that question a few years ago while in Costa Rica. When someone finds out that another has raised the money and taken the time to travel a long distance to say “Jesus loves you and so do I”, it has a positive effect. It may be that the person who travels must do so just to learn to say, “Jesus loves you and so do I” to a stranger. Having learned the lesson that person is then able to go home and do the same across town or even across the street. Good, faithful Stewardship of our resources is important, nothing should be wasted; but it isn’t always about the most economical way. This is a great example of the conjunctive, both/and not either or. Personal attitude is to be considered as well. Just as Judas wasn’t using the assets of the common purse to help the poor; one who complains about international mission taking away from local missions but hasn’t done any local mission work may want to take note. Before a gift can be wasted, it must be given and received. Jesus chose to give his life ….. will you receive the life he offers?