The Lost VirtueIn what common circumstances are you most impatient?
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Mary took a twelveounce jar of expensive perfume made from
essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping His feet with
her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance (v.3).
What is Jesus worth to you? Most Christians would
answer, “Everything.” But if He were here in
the flesh, would you sell all your possessions
and throw Him a $50,000 party? Would you sell a prized
family heirloom to fill His house with a million roses?
We can hardly imagine Jesus accepting such
generosity, especially in a world of hungry people. But
there was at least one time that He did.
In Jesus’ day, traveling preachers were often invited to
be the guest of honor at banquets. They gave a lecture
and were “paid” with food. One day, when Jesus was
honored at a special banquet, Mary, Jesus’ close friend,
prepared the food out of love, not to “pay” him. She also
brought a large jar of perfume that was worth a year’s
wages (probably a family heirloom). She cracked the
seal and began pouring the precious, expensive perfume
on Jesus’ feet, wiping them with her hair (John 12:3).
Feet were washed with water, not anointed with oil.
And a woman’s hair was to be kept out of the gaze
of men. But Mary’s worst sin, according to Judas, was
her extravagance at the expense of the poor (vv.4-5).
Everyone shamed her for it (Mark 14:5).
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied (John 12:7). “You
will always have the poor among you, but you will not
always have Me” (v.8). Since Jesus came for the poor
(Luke 4:18), blessed the poor (6:20), and taught others
to remember the poor (11:41, 14:13), something important was being taught
here. Someone even more important than the (very important) poor was here.
Mary’s actions ended up being more meaningful than she realized (John 12:7.
In her own way, Mary threw a $50,000 party for Jesus and filled His home
He was that valuable to her.
What is your most valuable possession? Would you sell it and
spend its value on Jesus? Why?
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