“Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table. 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 whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
Though one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, the one who would betray him objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? The perfume was worth a years income. Judas did not care for the poor but he was concerned because he was the keeper of the money that was collected. He would often take some for himself.
Jesus responds, “Leave her alone. It was intended that she would save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” (John 12:1-8)
This is a very touching and inspiring passage. To give what was probably the most expensive thing Mary owned and pour it out on Jesus’ feet is so beautiful! She poured out 12 ounces of very costly perfume upon the one she loved and cherished. It was an act of sacrificial adoration. It was also a humble act. She wiped his feet with her hair.
It is interesting to note that this isn’t the first time we see Mary at Jesus’ feet. Mary falls at Jesus’ feet when she was grieving over her brother’s death. “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.” (John 11:32) Then the next time we see Mary is in her home sitting at Jesus’ feet. “Martha had a sister called Mary, who sat the the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.” (Luke 10:38)
The fragrance fills the house. Everyone is touched by what Mary did from the least to the greatest. Though not everyone is happy with her choice to pour our such an expensive perfume. Jesus stands by her side and says that this act was done for my burial. He also reminds them that he will not always be with them. When had they heard him say this? In John 7:33, Jesus says, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I will go to the one who sent me.” So they knew the time would be coming that Jesus would need to leave them.
I love how Mary came to Jesus in humble positions. She postured herself at his feet. How do you come before your Savior and King? Is it standing, sitting, kneeling, or hands held high. I think it’s good to think of how we enter His presence. How do we lift him up even in how we present ourselves to Him. Just something to think and dwell upon today as you meditate on His precious word.