Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
John 12:1-2 KJV
This story begins with a very specific date: six days before Passover.
It continues with telling not only what is happening, a supper, but also included details: Martha served, but Lazarus was one of them at the table.
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.
John 12:3 KJV
Scripture leaves out why Mary did this, but it does tell us the response.
Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
John 12:4-6 KJV
Judas spoke out against this “waste”, but Jesus declares something incredible.
Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
John 12:7-8 KJV
Jesus ‘s death was a shock and great surprise to everyone except Jesus.
He had told the disciples He would be killed and would rise again, but they didn’t understand.
Yet, God sent Mary with a very costly ointment to anoint Jesus before His burial.
Because the Lord knew she’d not be able to do this afterwards.
Mark 16:1 KJV — And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
Mark 16:4-7 KJV
God understands the details of our lives, both today and into the future.
Mary may not have understood why she felt led to anoint the Lord, but she did it.
That act, criticized by Judas Iscariot, was preparing Jesus ‘s body for burial while He was alive and well.
If she’d waited, her chance would have been lost.
May we also look for the opportunities open in today to “anoint” our Lord Jesus with our love through praise, obedience, and keeping His commandments.
John 15:10 KJV — If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for first loving me. Thank You for loving us so much that You came to save us from sin and death through Your Sacrifice and Resurrection. Lord Jesus, thank You for this story and Your profound truth. Lord, I want to bring You my most costly treasure and use it to bless You, bringing You the glory You deserve. I can give nothing less than my life, my whole heart devoted to You. Please continue to teach me how to redeem the time, for I don’t want to miss a moment, not a single opportunity. Lord, please open my mind to learning and my heart to understanding that I might walk with You in integrity and truth, loving as You do, living completely for Your glory. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
(Two other gospels record this story as well: Mark 14:3-9, Luke 7:36-50.)