Our greatest duty and joy – John 12:8 | 2-minute meditation


In John 12:8, Jesus makes a surprising statement.

John 12:8
“For the poor you always have with you, but you do not alwa… (visit YouTube for more)


Jesus threw the disciples a bit of a curveball with this one. John 12 verse 8: Jesus says, "For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."

So Jesus is at the house of Mary and Martha and Lazarus, Lazarus freshly raised from the dead. And Mary breaks this really expensive perfume and she anoints Jesus with it. And she wipes his feet with her hair.

And Judas, who had a bit of a, an issue with money says, "Why didn’t you sell that and give the money to the poor?" What he meant really was, why didn’t you sell that and put the money in the money bag so I can "look after it" for you?

But Jesus sees through all that. He knows the heart of Judas. He knows what he really wants. But he still says, the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.

Jesus is honouring Mary’s worship. Jesus is saying, yes, you can and should give to the poor. But you also have a duty to your Lord.

We can fill every hour of the day being good. We can donate our time, our money to all sorts of good causes. But do we worship? Because unless we’re worshipping God, all the other things are misdirected. Our worship comes first.

God wants to be glorified through what we do. He doesn’t need our good deeds. He doesn’t need us to do stuff for Him. We do these things out of obedience, but we do them out of love and worship first. So first, let us, with Mary, worship and anoint Jesus.

Jesus is not saying don’t look after the poor. Far from it. He does want us to do that. But He also wants us to look at Him and be in relationship with Him. Our greatest duty and joy is to glorify God and to worship Him. That comes first.

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