John 12:1-8 Mary took a twelveounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping His feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance (v.3).
What is Jesus worth to you? Most Christians would answer, “Everything.”But if He were here in the flesh, would you sell all your possessions and throw Him a $50,000 party? Would you sell a prized family heirloom to fill His house with a million roses? We can hardly imagine Jesus accepting such generosity, especially in a world of hungry people. But there was at least one time that He did.
In Jesus’ day, traveling preachers were often invited to be the guest of honor at banquets. They gave a lecture and were “paid” with food. One day, when Jesus was honored at a special banquet, Mary, Jesus’ close friend, prepared the food out of love, not to “pay” him. She also brought a large jar of perfume that was worth a year’s wages (probably a family heirloom). She cracked the seal and began pouring the precious, expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet, wiping them with her hair (John 12:3).
Feet were washed with water, not anointed with oil. And a woman’s hair was to be kept out of the gaze of men. But Mary’s worst sin, according to Judas, was her extravagance at the expense of the poor (vv.4-5). Everyone shamed her for it (Mark 14:5).
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied (John 12:7). “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me” (v.8). Since Jesus came for the poor (Luke 4:18), blessed the poor (6:20), and taught others to remember the poor (11:41, 14:13), something important was being taught here. Someone even more important than the (very important) poor was here. Mary’s actions ended up being more meaningful than she realized (John 12:7). In her own way, Mary threw a $50,000 party for Jesus and filled His home with roses.
He was that valuable to her.
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Read Luke 10:38-42 to see Mary’s devotion to Jesus expressed in another way, and read John 11:1-44 to see one reason for her love.
What is your most valuable possession? Would you sell it and