John 12:3: “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.”
What is your favorite smell? We like to smell pleasant and for our surroundings to smell good. There are a lot of nice fragrances out there, but a quality perfume is distinct: it lingers and will be expensive. Real perfume is used sparingly by most, but not by Mary of Bethany. Today’s hero will encourage us to be the aroma of Christ in our relationships and conversations.
Mary of Bethany expressed her heart of love in an extravagant way. She took a perfumed ointment worth 300 days’ wages (at $15/hour, that would be $36,000!) and poured it on the feet of Jesus to anoint him prior to His death. What she did showed incredible love for her Lord. She didn’t seem to think twice about other things she could have done with what she spent to purchase the ointment, though it was probably her life savings. Once this perfume was opened, it had to be used, therefore, her decision was final. She was highly criticized by Judas, but Jesus could see right through his empty criticism.
What do you think Mary was expressing in her overwhelming display toward Jesus? Why are we so restrictive in our devotion to Christ? Mary lavished her love on Christ with reckless abandon. She didn’t worry about the cost or what others would think or say. Oh, may God, by his Spirit, give us the same reckless love for Christ. May the fragrance of our surrendered lives fill our homes, relationships, and conversations today so that others may smell the aroma of Christ and want to know more about Him!
A special thanks to the American Bible Society for contributing devotional content for Go2020.
Ask the Lord to give you a generous heart. Ask him to highlight someone in your life who needs encouragement from you today.
Practice the gift of generosity. Share your time, talent, or treasures with someone in need.