What Jesus Did! 'Pious Sounding Critics' — John 12:4-6

Saturday, August 20, 2022

[After Mary anointed Jesus' feet with expensive perfume,] Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray [Jesus], said, "That perfume was worth a year's wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor." Not that he cared for the poor — he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples' money, he often stole some for himself.
— John 12:4-6 NLT

Key Thought

Ever notice that some people at church can criticize much more freely than they can praise, encourage, serve, or sacrifice? Satan has a way of finding greedy and selfish hearts to use pious sounding words to criticize those who are willing to sacrifice. Does that mean we give up on the church? Well, did Jesus give up on his disciples because one of them was a greedy traitor, one was always overstating his faith, and the rest were often confused? Of course not! Where else would we want a person wrestling with heart problems to be other than among God's people! The real issue is whether those who lead give in to pious sounding critics or gently confront them with the truth as Jesus did with Judas in the next verses. [1] Too many who sacrifice and serve are not affirmed because someone else criticizes them. Jesus shows us this must not be!

[1] John 12:7-8.

Today's Prayer

Holy and loving God, please open my eyes to people who are serving you, especially those who are serving extravagantly, and then use me to affirm them and encourage them in their service and sacrifice for your Kingdom. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 3:21-22
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
  • 2 Corinthians 8:1-5


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Illustration of John 12:4-6 NLT — "That perfume was worth a year's wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.