A Gift For Jesus

Mark 14:3-9
Wherever the Good News is preached
throughout the world, this woman’s deed will
be remembered and discussed (v.9).

Consider this situation: Someone you deeply
love is dying. Doctors tell you that this could be
his last week of life. You want to do something
memorable and meaningful for him. What would it be?
At a dinner held to honor Jesus (John 12:2), Mary
anointed Him with expensive perfume made from essence
of nard (or spikenard)—a special plant that grew only
in the Himalayas of India. Mary’s perfume cost the
equivalent of a whole year’s salary for a laborer in
ancient Israel (Mark 14:5). In the Song of Solomon (1:12
and 4:13), nard symbolizes the sweet aroma worn by a
bride, drawing her husband to her. Some Bible teachers
believe that the perfume Mary was using to annoint
Jesus was her personal dowry—a treasure she had been
keeping for her own wedding. It was her most precious

Mary’s generous gift to Jesus invoked strong negative
responses. Some dinner guests rebuked her harshly
(vv.4-5). But Jesus commended her. For Mary had done a
“beautiful” thing (v.6 NIV). She had placed the perfume on
Jesus to prepare Him for His death (v.8). Leading up to this
time, He had often said that He would be betrayed, killed,
buried, and that He would rise again. His disciples didn’t
believe Him, for they didn’t want it to happen (Mark 8:31-
33, 9:31-32). But Mary had been listening to Jesus (Luke
10:39-42). Believing His words, she lovingly ministered to
Him in His last week before He went to the cross.

The expensive perfume was Mary’s funeral gift to Jesus. She gave her very best
to honor Him. Today, we’re part of Jesus’ fulfilled prophecy—we’re remembering
what Mary did at that dinner (Mark 14:9).

If you were in Mary’s place, what would you have done for Jesus? What
“perfume” would you have given to honor Him? —K.T. Sim

Read Romans 12:1, to
learn the appropriate gift
for you to give to Jesus
for all He’s done for you.

This coming week, what’s
one good or beautiful
thing you can do for
Jesus? What keeps you
from giving Him your all?

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