- Justin Brownlee
Mary Pours Out Her Costly Perfume, John 12:1-11
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?" (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)
Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
We all have a possession that we value greatly. It might be a car, a family heirloom, a computer, or a house. It might be the first thing you grab if your house caught fire. We all have things that we value and take great care to keep.
In the beginning of John 12, we see the thing Mary considered precious - a bottle of expensive perfume. This perfume was not just a fragrance to Mary. It was worth nearly a year's wages.
Mary wasn't just saving this perfume for a special day. This bottle was her financial security.
In an act of worship, Mary poured her perfume onto Jesus' feet. She knelt to the ground and washed His feet, ignoring the opinions of others. Mary gave radically with her worship. She gave not knowing if she'd be able to live through the day, but trusting Jesus anyway.
Jesus began to explain why He's going to die, and urged the Jews to believe.
God gave His best when He gave us Jesus. God not only calls us to radical faith, He calls us to radical giving.
The next day, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey as crowds praised Him.
What can you learn about Jesus from this chapter?
What's holding you back from pouring your security out at Jesus' feet?
How does this chapter show us that we can trust Him with what's most precious to us?
Is there anything in your life you have not given to God?
At Anchor Church, we exist to love and lead one another with the hope of Jesus. We hope this devotional is an encouragement and an inspiration.
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