Scripture: Mark 14:1-9 & John 12:1-8
Though the raising of Lazarus and Mary’s anointing are very familiar stories to me the proximity to JESUS own death, burial, and resurrection overwhelmed me in a completely new way today. This story took place six days before the Passover. John has just said in John 11:57 that the chief priests and the Pharisees had issued a warrant for His arrest. The time is very near. JESUS is moving into danger not away from it. This is the Passover when He will die.
JESUS was having a special dinner with His friends. They were honoring JESUS for raising Lazarus from death. Lazarus was reclining right there with them. Mary then took expensive ointment, about the size of a soda can, made from pure nard (a highly valued fragrance) and anointed JESUS’ feet and wiped them with her hair. The house was overwhelmed with the fragrance.
We know about Judas’ objection but let’s focus on Mary’s expression of love, value, and worth that she felt toward JESUS. Mary realized intimacy with JESUS and to know Him, to see Him for who He was, to hear His incredible teaching, to experience His healing touch, and to have authentic fellowship with Him is infinitely more valuable to her than the money used to purchase the expensive perfume. JESUS brought her brother back to life! There is no way to measure the value of that.
Mary took that which was the most beautiful thing that she had, her hair, and used it to wash JESUS’ feet, the lowliest part of JESUS. She turned her hair into a rag to wash JESUS’ feet. This is truly the ultimate foot washing expression.
Judas could not begin to comprehend what Mary was doing because he was so focused on the material thing. That’s what happens when we allow the things of this world replace our worship of JESUS who is LORD and KING.
JESUS did not want Judas to rob Mary of her thrill, her gratitude, her amazement, her wonder, or her love for Him. The mind set of Judah at the tomb would be: so much for that Messiah; so much for that way to find victory over our enemies. What a waste! What a failure! But the mind set of Mary and those who believe as she believes will be one filled with love and hope as she stands by the tomb in six days.
If anyone tells you to moderate your love for JESUS, do not listen! Let your affections for JESUS be lavish! Do not allow the cares of this world rob you of the riches JESUS has to offer! Do not allow anyone to tell you JESUS’ death is anything less than triumph over death. JESUS is the resurrection and the life. “Whoever believes in Him, though he die, yet shall he live. Whoever lives and believes in Him shall never die (John 11:25-26).”
JESUS is Risen . . . !