John 12:3 KJV
“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.”
The event of Lazarus’ resurrection had just happened. The love and gratitude and overflowing joy was thick in the room. An event of that scale was unprecedented. This man had been dead for many days. John devoted a huge number of verses, sharing the intimate conversations of this little family. The atmosphere of this house was of love and care for Jesus. He was a wanted, desired, welcomed, and a closely heard friend of this little family. It was a place that He could relax and be Himself as an invited member of the family.
From the event of the raising of Lazarus, Mary does something spectacular. I believe the first event was breathtaking for them. There was no precedent to the raising of Lazarus. It was their family member who had died. It was their only brother whom they had cherished and he was too young to have died. Out of that now comes this event in which Mary pours out a bottle of very costly ointment upon the feet of Jesus and wipes it off with her hair. We are told that the whole house was filled with the odor of the ointment. That costly gift to Jesus was an expression of that family’s gratitude and adoration for all that had happened. I would like to leave that story right there and just say what a beautiful moment, but one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, is upset. He feels it is a great waste of money. Judas knew the value of the oil. Unfortunately he did not know the value of the moment nor did he seem to know that value of the gift given to Jesus.
It is funny how we can be so petty when we need to be so generous. Often we put value on doing right instead of being right. In Judas’ mind what was done was wrong, but in light of that beautiful moment, it was entirely right. It was the most appropriate thing to do. It was something straight from the heart, something not rehearsed, not thought of, and probably never done by a male; yet a woman leads by showing a spectacular generosity towards Jesus. It is coming directly from a heart of gratitude and love. I believe that she was secure in Jesus’ love and she understood the value that Jesus put upon that little family.
Mary affirms Jesus with an extravagant gift full of love and it fills the whole house. Acts of the heart that are generous and affirming need to fill our homes with the fragrance of our Lord Jesus Christ. The value that Jesus places on our lives is a powerful testament to the world of God’s love and grace for us. This is one of those unbelievable moments that really show us what is important. The things that money cannot buy or do, matters of the heart, make life worth living. I encourage you to make a place in your heart where the love of God can be expressed in a powerful way.