Scripture Reading: Leviticus 15:1-16:34 / Mark 13:32-14:16 / Psalm 31:1-8
True love is not based upon what we can get out of a relationship but what we can give. Like Marie, she sent her ex-boyfriend a love-letter lament. “Dearest Jimmy, no words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you! Yours forever, Marie P.S. "And congratulations on winning the state lottery.” True Love!
Motives were revealed and exposed when Jesus was invited to Simon’s house in Bethany. Besides the disciples, there were many guests at his house including Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. A powerful act of love was displayed when, “a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.” (Mark 14:3) Mark was referring to Lazarus’ sister, Mary, as the anointer of Jesus.
There were some who were critical of Mary’s actions. “Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why the waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.” (vs.4,5) Judas was the main critic as his motive was not to give the money to the poor but to put it in the treasury, close to himself.
This was not a two-ounce bottle of Giorgio Armani perfume but 12 ounces of pure imported oil from India valued at a year’s wages - $20,000! Mary gave Jesus the most expensive thing she possessed. Mary probably saved most of her life in order to buy the alabaster jar of perfume! She poured it on Christ’s head but John also tells us that Mary poured the rest of the perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. The smell was so potent that the entire house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
She made a statement about Christ’s absolute importance and value in her life. Nothing in Mary’s life or in the world was more valuable to her than Jesus. She gave Him her full expression of worship, sacrifice and surrender. She broke the bank in her worship! She loved Christ more than she loved herself, her possessions or security. Mary was not looking to receive anything from Jesus but wholeheartedly gave Him everything of her.
Mary intentionally broke the neck of the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus. Our greatest and deepest heart-filled worship flows out of brokenness. Like a broken vessel, Mary was humbled and considered it a great joy to worship the Lord with her very best. Mary had done something noble, praiseworthy and even needful as she anointed Christ’s body for His death and burial. The world will always look upon Mary’s display of worship and like Judas say, “What a waste!” But Jesus describes it as…“Wonderful!”