We read in John 12: 1-8 that one day Jesus went to the city of Bethany. That was the city where a man named Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead, lived with his two sisters, Mary and Martha. While Jesus was in Bethany, a dinner was given in His honor. Lazarus was eating at the table with Jesus, while Martha was serving the meal. Mary was just sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him teach.
As she was sitting at the feet of Jesus, Mary did a very unusual thing. She took a bottle of very expensive perfume and began to wash the feet of Jesus with it. Then she dried His feet with her hair. The Bible tells us that the entire house was filled with the sweet smell of perfume.
One of Jesus’ disciples, whose name was Judas, was very upset by what Mary did. He said, “What a waste! This perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. It was worth a year’s wages.” Judas wasn’t really worried about the poor. The Bible tells us that he was worried about the money because he often stole money from the treasury for himself.
Jesus came to Mary’s defense and answered Judas. “Leave her alone. She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial.”
Jesus said that because He knew it was only a few days before He would be crucified and buried. I doubt Mary realized that fact, but I do think Mary wanted to give Jesus the very best she had to show her love for Him. That perfume was the very best thing Mary had to offer.
Jesus has given us His most wonderful gift imaginable too – the gift of everlasting life. It is free, but it was a very costly gift. It cost Jesus His life.
What can we give to Jesus to show our love for Him? I think He wants us to give Him our very best as well. He wants us to give Him our life – a life of loving Him and helping others! That is the best gift ever for Him!
Let’s say a prayer together. Heavenly Father, Jesus gave His life to show His love for us. May we also give our lives in service to Him as an expression of our love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church.