John 12:1-8 (ESV)
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
Lent has one week remaining. In a way, Jesus is reminding us of that today through his retort to Judas. Judas failed to heed the reminder; let’s not follow after him in that.
This year is still relatively new, and once the celebration of Easter passes the year stretches out toward the warm, hot months. Cool evenings will become a memory and a yearning. Crisp autumn air will take its usual time to arrive, and then off we go into the frenzy of the “holidays,” which are everything but holy.
“…you do not always have me,” Jesus prophesied to Judas. Let that phrase sink deeply into your heart. Dear reader, if in the depths of your heart that phrase is ludicrous, then God bless you! We pray your Lent has been fruitful, has changed you in some way to better resemble the Author of our salvation.
But if its arrival in your heart produces anxiety, then there is work to be done that will make the difference between eternity with Jesus and eternity without him. Repent! Ask Jesus right now to forgive your sins, to recognize your need for a savior, and then give your trembling heart to him who is there, waiting beside you, waiting for you to say and do just that.
And if you choose to delay, remember—he won’t always be there.
If you find yourself indifferent to this whole business of Jesus, or perhaps even angry about it, then the church collective prays for you. Perhaps in a different moment to come your heart will change. Jesus is waiting for you, just as he waited for us (and Judas). Even so, remember this banquet called life will end, “but you do not always have me.”
Lord Jesus, we praise you that we will enjoy you forever.