For the Poor You Have Always (John 12:1-8)

After Mary, Lazarus’ sister, had anointed the feet of Jesus with perfume, Judas Iscariot said she had done a useless thing (John 12:4-6).  In response Jesus said, “Leave her alone… for the poor you have always, but me you have not always”.  It is true that we have, and we shall always have, poor among us.  This includes people who are poor spiritually, those who are poor fraternally and those who are poor physically. 

By this saying Jesus means that we do not have Jesus’ character always.  Jesus used many different figures of speech.  To be convinced that Jesus was right to say that we have the poor always among us look at Galatians 5:22-26.  This passage describes Jesus’ characteristics.

When Mary honoured Jesus by anointing his’ feet with perfume, Judas said “What a waste,” when he was using stolen money to satisfy lusts of the flesh.  Shortly after he sold Jesus for the love of money and came to realise that he had done a bad thing when it was too late.

Where could he go to say that he had done wrong to Jesus?   Jesus was not with him.  To Peter and the other apostles?  They were scattered.  How could he confront Peter?  He saw Peter in the garden of Gethsemane drawing a sword, and cutting off the ear of the high Priest’s servant.  He thought that perhaps Peter would not pardon him.  Finally he decided to kill himself to avoid disgrace.  Why?  Because he was a coward like King Saul who, when he saw the Philistines around him, was afraid.  Fear haunted him, he was not courageous enough to face the enemy. Jesus came to bring us light that we should not remain in our sins. Jesus said his word will judge us in the last day (John 12:46-48)

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