Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative to present Jesus in the context he walked in with the unknown disciple that narrates introducing my thoughts and sparking more ideas with his questions. Enjoy.
Six days before the Passover, we were at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Two miles from Jerusalem, the city was already full of people coming for the Passover. Jesus decided to stay with his best friends.
Here, a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. I watched as Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at one of the tables with him. We were scattered at the other tables.
It was an enjoyable time. I saw the movement as Mary came in with a large jar. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Spikenard was a costly oil with a sweet smell, imported from northern India. Hosts would typically provide water for the feet, anointing only the head. I was shocked at how Mary was so extravagant. Only servants usually handled a person’s feet, so she was also being incredibly humble.
Judas Iscariot objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”
John told me that he suspected Judas of stealing from our money bag for our travels.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
A growing noise interrupted us. Peter looked out at an ever-increasing crowd. They wanted to see Jesus and Lazarus, especially since Jesus raised him from the dead. We heard from Nicodemus the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him, many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
It didn’t make sense. Surely God is with Jesus. The miracles attest to that.
One thought on “Mary’s Devotion; Learning Under Jesus”
This story is always a quandary for me. While I hope i’m not a thief like Judas, I would find it much easier to defend donating funds to missions or the poor vs. an extravagant show of love to Jesus like this. A good principle too as we approach Family Christmas and remember sometimes folks react with negativity towards generosity shown there.
LikeLiked by 1 person