When Jesus was at the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came in and poured very expensive perfume over the Lord’s head (Matthew 26:6-13).
It was a prophetic act as it prepared Jesus’ body for His looming sacrifice.
But the woman’s actions annoyed the disciples, who muttered among themselves that it was such a waste because she could have sold the very valuable perfume and given the money to the poor.
But it was the woman’s wealth, and she could do with it what she wanted.
And in response to their criticism, Jesus made an odd statement that ‘the poor will be with you always.’
It certainly counters any modern notions that money is the answer to people’s problems, or the idea, often portrayed in Star Trek movies, that some future society will have ended poverty.
So, what did Jesus mean by that statement?
Though the poor need help, and we should assist them, the lack of money is often not their real issue.
Many times it’s a person’s lifestyle, that is the root of their problems.
News.com.au recently ran a story on how a young man, D. Edwards, who was an unemployed, ex-convict, living at his parent’s home, when he was one of four winners in a PowerBall jackpot worth $280 million in 2001.
Instead of receiving yearly payments, Edwards decided to take a $41 million lump-sum payout that amounted to $27 million after taxes.
Certainly, if the lack of money was his problem, this unimagined wealth would have changed his life.
It did, but only briefly.
According to MoneyWise, within a year of winning the money, Edwards had spent $12 million on luxury vehicles, collectible swords, and luxury homes in a couple of states.
On top of this, he bought his own private jet and invested in racing horses and a couple of businesses.
By the time he died at 58 years of age, he was penniless and living in a hospice because of his drug addiction.
Money was not the answer to his problems.