After the anointing at Bethany, Judas asks why the fragrance wasn't sold and the money given to charity. A more apt question might be why Mary didn't use it on her brother Lazarus, dead just a few days before.
We don’t talk about idolatry much anymore, despite the caution against it in everything from the Ten Commandments to the New Testament epistles. This is ironic, because idolatry flourishes in our culture.
As Luke tells the story, even though Jesus doesn’t turn stones to bread, he feeds those who hunger. And even though he says no when Satan offers him political power, a vision of God’s all-encompassing reign of shalom is at the heart of Jesus’ ministry.