John 11:55 – 12:11
We have been doing a series at Church entitled, “The Passover Plot”’ and today’s sermon was, “The Anointing”. The context In John 11: 55 was set six days before the Passover ceremony and all the Jews were travelling to Jerusalem for purification purposes. Jesus was the talk of the town and the Pharisees were all on the look out for Him so that they could seize Him if they found Him.
“Therefore…”, Jesus went to Bethany were Lazarus was, whom he had raised from the dead. They had prepared a supper for Him which Martha served and as the honored guest Jesus reclined at the head of the table with Lazarus. Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, took a pound of very expensive perfume and anointed Jesus with it. She would have started at the head and lavished him in the perfume ending generously with His feet and then wiping it with her hair. This extravagance was immediately jumped upon by the team accountant who had selfish notions of His own.
Jesus responded, “Let her alone, in order that she may keep it for the day of My burial, For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
It is obvious from the response of Jesus that this was part of His preparation for Burial. BUT my big question has always been, but how did Mary know this and if she didn’t why would she do this?
She performed this extravagant act of worship compelled by love and devotion. Expensive perfume in those days was not a major spend from your weekly salary but possibly a life time of savings. Women often kept such costly perfume as part of her dowry. So the expense to Mary was great. She spared no expense and was willing to give it all. It was clear from this extravagant act that Mary dearly loved Jesus.
Secondly, it was Mary’s ability to listen to Jesus that lead her to anoint Him. She chose, above all other things, to sit at His feet and drink in the words of life. Mary got it! If God was to use anyone to anoint His Son it would be the child who devoted themselves completely and worshipfully to Listening to Him!
When I reflect on these two lessons I have to ask myself if I devote myself to listening to Jesus and do I have the kind of love and devotion that would give all that is dear with such lavish devotion.