Mary anoints Jesus with perfume
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
1Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pint[a] 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.
4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5″Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.[b]” 6He 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.
7″Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. ” It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
9Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.
During the first century A.D. it was a common practice when a visitor entered a home in the Middle East to have a servant wash his feet. The roads were dusty, chances are the visitor had traveled by foot for a long distance, and foot washing was a sign of hospitality. But in this case, it was not a servant who washed Jesus’ feet, but a beloved follower, Mary, the sister of Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead. And, Mary did not use water to cleanse Jesus’ feet, but a rare and expensive perfume.
Judas, ever concerned about money, criticized Mary for her generosity, saying she had foolishly wasted this precious substance. Jesus, however, made the point that what Mary did was good, and that this perfume had been saved just for this purpose.
I want Mary’s heart. I want to be so in love with my Savior that I am willing to spare no expense to show Jesus the love I have for Him. Father, let it be.
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- Tagged: Carol J. Grace, Mary anoints Jesus, Seeking Holiness
Incredibly awesome article. Really.