Who Dared Challenge His Lord and Savior?
He was a member of the inner circle, chosen, he himself having chosen to discipline himself to his Master. Like his companions, he had been not much of anybody, outlander and radical and alienated. Like so many of these, his nature was susceptible, and he naturally gravitated to a strength, a power that was as pure as it was all-consuming. He fell in, and joined his fellows in the glorious pilgrimage. What a journey, full of ups and downs, twists and turns, white hats versus black hats, old at odds with the new. But oh, the feasts, the gatherings, the healings and miracles, the fulfillment of the Baptist’s cries and the songs of David and Isaiah. Heady stuff, this.
Then one night at table, his place there unquestioned, he watched a woman kneel before his Master, wash His feet with her inexplicable tears, and honor with humble loving caresses and expensive, aromatic nards and aloes she’d risked all to obtain for the disciple’s Master. The follower thrust himself into the darkness of doubt and resentment, and then his outrage seethed hotter than the pot in the hearth. And he couldn’t contain himself. Could not contain himself. Him-Self.
“Why do You let this woman anoint Your feet? That money could have gone to the Rescue Mission! What is this silly ritual of foot-washing have to do with what WE’RE doing, what I’m trying to do?”
The outlander revealed himself, and thus was rebuked by his Savior, and still he could not see or hear that over the bleating of his rapacious heart. He likely thought his understanding of “Make straight a highway for our God” was truer than the Master’s, and he kept that understanding alive, on life-support. But he also failed to remember that exhortation was accompanied by “Repent, repent!”
Mercy comes at a harsh price, more than spices, much more than thirty pieces. He was to never find mercy again.