It was six days before Passover. The crowds were filling Jerusalem.
Jesus was just outside the city, in Bethany, at the home of Mary and Martha. Lazarus, the one called from his own grave, was there. The twelve He had called to follow Him were there.
As the men reclined around the table, Martha scurried, serving her Guest of Honor. The others, too. (Serving was Martha’a love language, but she was prone to mumble. Why doesn’t everyone serve like me?) But tonight, no one mentioned her mumbling.
As the plates were emptied, I imagine Martha cleared the table. As the dinner conversation lingered, Mary left the room. Perhaps unnoticed.
But what happened next did not go unnoticed.
Mary returned holding an alabaster jar of exquisite perfume. It could have been her dowry. Her everything.
Hitting the jar against the table, she broke it. She wasn’t saving some for later.
Letting down her hair (Gasp!), she poured this perfume on the feet of Jesus and brushed those beautiful feet with her hair. (Gasp!) She poured it over his head as well. The air was thick with its fragrance.
Judas Iscariot held nothing back. He scolded her for such a waste!
But it was too late. Though her heart may have pounded and her face gone flush, it was done. Mary knew. Mary knew what the apostles could not let themselves believe. Mary knew that Jesus was going to suffer and die.
She’d sat at His feet and heard Him teach. She had listened with her heart and her mind. She had experienced His incredible love for her. And in return, nothing was too extravagant for Him. Nothing was too much for Jesus.
Jesus spoke to the harsh opinions of the others. Always her defender. Mary poured out her treasure upon Jesus, giving all she had in response to her Savior. She did what she could.
Would I have done the same?
Or would I have poured just a smidgen? Just a drop? Withholding what I might need later?
Maybe I would have done nothing? Believing what I had to give was too little?
Or perhaps I would have pulled back, afraid to show my love, too concerned about what others might think? Avoiding a scene; a scandal.
That was then. This is now. Would Jesus say of me, “She did what she could.”?
Do I worship extravagantly? Do I lay all that I have at His feet? Do I surrender my pride? Do I do what I can or complain that what I can do is of no value?
What about you, my friend?
Heavenly Father, as Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, how I long to be in Your presence. To rest in Your arms. As we reflect upon the last days of our Savior, give us eyes to see not only those who were there, but hearts to see ourselves as well.. And with honesty Lord, may we confess what needs confessing. And move toward You with our alabaster jars. Ready to pour out for You what we have. So that our lives would be a pleasing sacrifice to You. Amen.