Jesus loved people. He loved the sick and the lame … the prostitute and children. Jesus loved His band of brothers … the 12 whose lives had become so intrinsically a part of His own.
After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”
And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
Jesus also loved a particular family who had celebrated with Him, had often taken care of Him while He was traveling and with whom Jesus had cried the day that He raised Lazarus, their brother, from the dead.
Understandably, Jesus spent some of His last hours on earth with beloved friends who had become family to Him. These moments were unspeakably dear as he looked lovingly into the faces of those whose names would soon be written not only on His heart but also on His hands.
As they were dining together one evening during this final week of Jesus life, Mary, the woman who had spent so much time at the feet of Jesus, came to Him with a family heirloom in her hands.
Mary had spent time at Jesus’ feet in wonder listening to His Word; she spent time at the feet of Jesus in her darkest hour believing that Jesus would perform a miracle; and now she is extravagantly giving at His beautiful feet that will soon be bloodied.
Mary broke the alabaster vial and poured the fragrant and costly perfume over the head of Jesus. The amount in this vase was worth an entire year’s wages and yet Mary lavishly poured it over the body of her Savior.
Jesus will die as a criminal; only criminals’ bodies were denied the societal anointing of spices and perfume after death. Mary’s singular act of love saved Him from the disgrace of a criminal’s death. This one quiet woman was so filled with devotion and love that she considered no sacrifice too great for Jesus.
Will you spend heartfelt time with Jesus’ this week? Will you allow your worship to spill over into lavish giving as you contemplate the price that He paid for your life?