“Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, 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. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.”
John 12:1-8 KJV
Mary’s gift to Jesus was saved up until this exact moment when she was in His literal presence. It was her choice (free will) as to how and when she would “spend” her gift. Only Jesus knew the full cost of her gift which was not only monetary.
Judas Iscariot – a disciple of Jesus – attempted to make Mary feel selfish and unspiritual because she did not give to the poor her gift that she had reserved for Jesus. Judas did not care about the poor, but he wanted her gift for his own use. He did not understand that Mary’s gift was not simply expended tangibly, but a gift given from a heart of deep worship. In his deceived heart, Judas was more interested in using Jesus to become successful, than in loving Him.
Then the words of Jesus to Judas: “Let her alone.” He defended her because He knew her heart as no other could. In the words of Judas – in a position of spiritual leadership – her gift was made out to be wasted. Her private deliberate decision over time was publicly made out to be wrong in an instant.
No matter how your motives, your gifts, or your decisions are viewed by others, Jesus knows. Jesus knows if your motives are pure or not. Jesus knows if your gifts are for Him or for self. Jesus knows if your decisions are made based on what humans think of you or according to what God knows of you.
That ointment cost Mary way more than 300 pence, but the reward of loving Jesus because He first loved her is a gift that man couldn’t take from her and that money couldn’t buy.