“And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?” — Mark 14:4
Several days before Jesus was crucified, a woman (Mary John 12:3) came to Jesus with a very valuable box of ointment. She broke the box and poured the ointment on Jesus to show her love for the Lord and her awareness of the sacrifice He was about to make.
Right after this amazing act of love and sacrifice, we read that “there were some” watching who were angry, calling her sacrifice “a waste.” They cloaked their anger in pious language, protesting that the ointment could have been sold and given to the poor. It seems others then joined in the murmuring after this was said.
John tells us that Judas led this criticism (John 12:4), so we know his heart was not right. And it seems that not only were they criticizing her but also Jesus for allowing her to do this thing.
Jesus soundly rebukes them, telling them: to leave her alone; that her work was a good thing; that the poor would always be with them; there would be plenty of time to do them good; that He would not always be with them; that she came to anoint Him prior to His burial; and that everywhere the message of Christ was told her act of love would be also told!
There are many lessons from this passage, but one to consider is that there will always be some who will want to criticize. We should not always dismiss criticism straightway, because they could have valid points for us to consider. But we have to understand that even when we are doing something that Jesus Himself would say is very good, there will be some who will criticize it.
So, we must keep our focus on the Lord and not allow criticism or concern over being criticized to keep us from serving the Lord and making great sacrifices for Him. Launch about by faith, look to the Lord, and let the critics murmur. The Lord is the judge and He will sort it all out in the end. He will justify those who are right and rebuke those who are wrong in His time and way. Don’t let what some may say keep you from doing what you can to serve Jesus.