04 April 2012

Diary of a Disciple: Day 1003 (Evening)

by Dr Mark Keown

We walked the three kilometers back to Bethany and were surprised to find we were not eating at Martha and Mary’s. They need a day off for sure! Rather, we had been invited to the home of a certain Simon, one of the many lepers whom Yeshua had touched and healed – I still marvel at such power. As you can imagine, as a man who lost everything with his leprosy, Simon is not a wealthy man. Yet, he loves Yeshua so much that he will not take no for an answer. Yeshua refuses to dishonor him, and so we went to eat with him and his family. The meal was simple, but generous and good. He gets the idea of generosity, like the widow. In fact, it is nearly always people like the healed leper who do.

As we reclined, a woman came in to the home to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive perfume. As I observed her approach Yeshua from behind as he stretched out from the table, I remembered a similar event back in the home of another Simon, the Pharisee (it was Nain I think). We were eating at his home when a prostitute came and anointed Yeshua’s feet with tears and perfume. I wondered what this woman would do. Is she a prostitute too I thought? I hoped not, they still make me uncomfortable. Not so for Yeshua, he is not at all concerned about such things – he just loves and embraces all “sinners” – but not in that way!

The woman snapped off the neck of the flask and poured it all over his head. It washed over his whole body, the room filled with the beautiful fragrance. We later debated what it meant – was she anointing him king in some way? Or as a priest like Aaron? Or did she just want to lavish him generously, as people sometimes did at meals and festivals? Anyway, glad it didn’t happen to me; last thing I want is to smell like a woman!

I then made a twit of myself again! Still thinking about the widow at the temple-treasury, me, Judas and a couple of others started to discuss whether this was a waste of money or not – after all, it was more than three-hundred denarii’s worth. Simon the leper could have used that money, would have fed him and his family for a year! I dared to speak up and said, “what the heck are you doing woman? That could have fed the poor for a year!”

That went down like a lead-balloon. Yeshua rebuked me for daring to tell her off! He told me that she had done a beautiful thing and that throughout the world this would be told in her memory. That has a silver lining I suppose, the good news going to the ends of the earth – a sliver of hope of the good news of the victory of the “Lord” and “Saviour” (not Caesar) heralded to all. That hope was quashed by his other words though. He said something about her preparing him for burial – another parable alluding to his death or something? Why does he bang on about this death crap? Messiah’s don’t die; they inflict suffering and death on the enemies of Adonai. They raise the righteous! I really think I am missing something.

He also said something about him not always being with us, but the poor always being so. I suppose he must be talking about his going on some future mission to another part of the world without us, no doubt to suppress the Gentiles. Not sure why the poor would be with us after the great victory? Wouldn’t the curse of Adam be gone, the words of Deuteronomy no longer be relevant. Surely he has come to end that? Isn’t that what “good news to the poor” means? Yet again I was perplexed, humiliated and shocked. I would have thought he would have been infuriated, what with his commendation of the poor widow earlier in the day, and his constant appeals to care for the poor! In fact, that seems his number one issue!

When Yeshua said these words, I heard Judas mock Yeshua under his breath and say something like “that’s it, enough, I’m out of here.” He slipped out. No idea where he is going, but he is the one who is most agitated with Yeshua’s behavior. Will talk to Judas about it later if I get the chance.

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