Friday, February 6, 2009

Nedir bu savurganlık? (why this waste?) Mat. 26

Loyalty can be bought. Folks tend to remember those who extended a helping hand in their hour of need. Savvy politicians exploit this fact all the time. Apparently, generosity was a part of our Lord's ministry during his last three years. He would heal the sick, cast out devils, and, from time to time, miraculously cater a massive picnic. I get the impression, however, that this was in addition to a usual, routine, program of dispensing alms. Consider today's chapter. While Jesus and the disciples are dining at the house of Simon the Leper, a woman comes in and lavishes costly aromatic oils on Jesus. The disciples are shocked:
Öğrenciler bunu görünce kızdılar. "Nedir bu savurganlık?" dediler. "Bu yağ pahalıya satılabılır, parası yoksullara verilebilirdi."
And, today's words:
  • Öğrenmek -- to learn.
  • Öğrenci -- a learner. Öğrenciler -- learners.
  • yok -- nothing.
  • yoksullar -- those who have nothing.
  • savurgan -- prodigal, extravagant.
Think how much good we could have done with this money that this dumb chick just wasted!

Jesus reproved them for misunderstanding the significance of this act of worship. "Don't worry, you'll always have poor people around to help. But you won't always have Me with you like this."

Interesting how that works. Yes, we must help the poor. The fact remains, however, that the demand for charity, for free goods, will always exceed the supply. When a government decides, for example, to dump a few more billion dollars into "poverty" programs, the supply of poor people increases to meet the demand. In 1973, America had the moon. Politicians decided they'd rather buy poverty -- and we have a lot more hopeless poor people among us now.

Utlimately, the only way to truly feed the poor is at the table of the Lord. When poor people begin attending church, sit under the teaching of the Bible and modify their behavior to fit in with the new crowd, they usually cease being poor within a few years. When Jesus fed the multitudes, in John's account, they showed up at synagogue the next day to demand another free meal. They were more interested in what Jesus could do for them, then they were in what He required of them.

Ultimately, our "food" is to do God's will. The rest falls into place when we get that right.

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