“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” (Matthew 26 v 8-9)
John (chapter 12) tells us that Judas, the team’s treasurer, used to put his hand in the money bag and it was him who led the disciples in their indignation of the extravagance of this woman. Mark (chapter 14) says it was a year’s wages and Judas could have enjoyed some of that bounty!
One thing we need to remember about offence it is this:
The offended latch onto something that they think justifies their offence and which is understandable to the most.
The veil of offence: Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?
“That makes sense Judas. Well said. We need to look out for the poor. That’s what Jesus has taught us. We totally agree!”
This is akin to a misogynistic man walking out of the church because the teaching isn’t ‘deep enough’ or ‘correct theology’ veiling the truth that the man hadn’t known beforehand that the preacher was a woman! Yes, it has happened.
Veiled offence uses something that is accurate ie Mary could have given the perfume to be sold for the poor and this was wasteful; but uses that to cause division when the truth is that she honours Jesus in an extravagant way which prevents Judas from any opportunism and simply exposes the disciples lack of extravagance.
Let me ask another question. Do you get offended? Are you today? Has someone said or done something that you carry a sense of injustice about; something obviously wrong and you have colleagues who can support you in this? Be careful of veiled offence.