Matthew 26:8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
Food waste in America has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 103 million tons (206 billion pounds) of food was wasted in 2018. This is the equivalent of over 450,000 Statues of Liberty.
Globally, we waste a third of all food produced for human consumption, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). In the United States, that equates to approximately one pound of food wasted per person per day. If we keep this up, reports estimate that in ten years, we’ll waste the equivalent of sixty-sixty tons of food per second across the globe.
How much food is wasted in the U.S. can be seen directly through its monetary losses. The annual food waste in America has an approximate value of $161 billion, while the average American family of four throws out $1,500 in wasted food per year.
We can all agree that wasting food is not good, especially when most of the world is starving for something to eat! But there is a worse mindset that is permeating even Christian circles: that someone who fully surrenders their life for the cause of Christ and radically gives up everything to follow God’s will is wasting their purpose.
Matthew 26:7-8 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
We see the story in Matthew 26 where a woman came to Jesus to offer her alabaster box of very precious ointment, her prized possession, her life savings, her ALL. Some have said it was worth a year’s salary, and this woman offered it to her Saviour! As we can see in the story, not everyone was excited and thrilled about this, except for ONE—the Lord Jesus. He said for them to leave her alone because she had done a good work!
The challenge today is two-fold: First, let us all consider what this woman did in offering her very best, her life savings, even her life, to please the Saviour. May this challenge us to also surrender our all, our best, our life, to the only ONE who truly deserves it all. Second, let us not be part of the group who are discouraging those who are willing to be sold-out for Christ by making side comments or sometimes even talking them out of it. Just like Jesus said—"Let them alone!” They are doing work that they will never regret.
For the woman, “Is it really a waste?” No, because the Lord commended her! He said that what she had done would always be remembered whenever this part of the Gospel is preached. I think a wasted life is one who is living for the things that are temporal, pursuing things that never give true satisfaction, and a mindset that is not fully surrendered to God’s will. We only have one life to live; we cannot miss the opportunity to give our best, give our all, and surrender fully to whatever He requires from us, because the opportunity will not always be there.
Matthew 26:11-12 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
As Christians we have a responsibility to be a light in this dark world, to be a living testimony of the grace of God, and to train up our children in the way they should go.
I fear that because we’re around certain things so much, we can become numb to it, and that things that should bother us, no longer do.