Read John 12:1-11 Mary Anoints Jesus
Jesus is making his way to Jerusalem and arrives 6 days before Passover. His 3 years of ministry are about to come to a dramatic, unexpected conclusion. The disciples have not only seen but have been a part of many of Christ’s miracles. Jesus is fully aware of what awaits Him. Jesus knows He is about to be crucified, yet He takes time to share a meal and fellowship with His friends. This tells us about the value Jesus places on relationship.
vs.2 So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.
The meal was hosted in the home of Simon the leper; little is known about Simon except that at some point Jesus had healed him.
We often chide Martha, trying to get her to be more like Mary. We try to minimize her value but we would be foolish to do so.
Martha loved Jesus but her love was practical. Her expression came through the work of her hands. Martha always gave what she could. No doubt serving the best to Jesus always taking care to make sure there was enough.
Many of us, would not be what we are today if it had not been for a Martha in our lives. So, take heart Martha’s, your love is evident and well received by your Savior.
Then there was Lazarus, the man from the tomb, who was now enjoying over again the blessing of life and friendship. Many believe it was because of Lazarus this supper had been given.
Next, we come to the person of Mary.
vs.3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Judas tells us it was equivalent to a year’s wages which puts it in today’s estimation of + 25K.
A few things stand out here:
1. We see love is extravagant.
Imagine Mary watching as her brother who was dead, sitting beside Jesus, enjoying the company of this One who had given him new life. Overwhelmed by the emotion of it all, she runs to Him and begins to pour out the most costly and prized thing she possessed.
Extravagant love is love that takes no thought of the cost, but merely regrets it could not give more.
2. We see love is humility.
It was the servant’s job to wash the feet, and yes, it was Mary’s great honor to now wipe the feet of her Savior.
3. We see love is unselfconscious.
Mary wiped His feet with her hair. Understand that it was completely undignified for a woman to let down her hair in public.
Mary saw Jesus differently than the others; she saw in Him things even the disciples were still missing.
v.4-8 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. Therefore Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”
Jesus was not toying with Judas, nor did He believe Judas was too far gone that he could not have been redeemed. Jesus wanted Judas to get it. That’s why He continually revealed Himself to him and offered him a place amongst His closest company.
But this is the problem with position, it gives the false impression that we are in control, that others can’t see what is really going on.
Judas no doubt had some skill with money, otherwise he would not have been entrusted with it. But gifting doesn’t guarantee blessing.
Judas was both called and gifted. The problem came when he chose to use his gifting for earthly gain instead of heavenly gain. He became consumed by what he could gain rather than what he could give.
Mary and Judas were both called and gifted.
Are you ready to pour out extravagantly or are you resistant?
The gifts and call of God are irrevocable today in your life. If you pour it all out, you will only want to pour out more.
We need to move from where we are at to where He is.
What in your life keeps you from pouring yourself out extravagantly?
What do you feel God is calling you to pour yourself into today, this month, this year?