A few weeks ago we pondered Jesus bringing Lazarus back from the dead Jesus Showed His Power Over Death. Lazarus’s sister, Mary, was overwhelmed with grief when she told Jesus:
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
She was standing there when Jesus called Lazarus back from the dead after Lazarus had been dead for four days. That caused quite the commotion resulting in the religious leaders wanting to kill Jesus, so Jesus left the area because it was not time yet.
Six days before the Passover weekend, the weekend Jesus was crucified, Jesus came to visit Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha. That moment causes wonderment in my mind to think about Lazarus who had been dead for four days was now eating dinner with Jesus and others.
Can you imagine the gratitude Martha and Mary must have felt? For four days their brother was dead and then Jesus called him back from the dead. They had their brother back with them.
Mary expressed her tremendous gratitude with an act of worship which is recorded in John 12 and will be remembered for all eternity.
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
When I think about Mary’s act of worship, two things stand out to me, she spared no cost and it was deeply personal.
She spared nothing. The jar of perfumed ointment cost a year’s wages.
It was deeply personal. She wiped the feet of Jesus with her hair.
Sadly there are those who will criticize acts of worship and devotion to Jesus. Judas did so by saying:
“Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages”
But we learn his true motives for saying that:
He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
Jesus put Judas in his place by saying:
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
Jesus was not saying we should not care about the poor. He was not saying we should ignore the poor. There are plenty of bible verses imploring us to care for the poor, the widows, the orphans. Jesus was keeping the moment in the perspective of his impending sacrifice for us and honoring Mary’s gratitude and devotion both of which Judas had none of.
When we worship, do we give of ourselves like Mary did?
Is our worship deeply personal like Mary’s was?
Do we concern ourselves with those who criticize our devotion to Jesus?
Thank you for reading. God Bless