Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 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. [John 12:1-3]
In this story Mary chose what was most likely her most expensive possession, and POURED IT OUT on Jesus’ feet. Imagine taking a $100 bill and lighting it on fire. Imagine going to your favorite restaurant, (nah, not Chick-fil-a, but somewhere super swanky) getting your food, and throwing it straight in the trash. Imagine getting some awesome new clothes and a few days later cutting them to pieces. That’s what Mary did. To the person from the outside looking in, she was just wasting a ton of expensive perfume by rubbing it around WITH HER HAIR on the feet of some guy. But for Mary, this meant something.
What Mary did here signifies two things. One, is that Jesus is worthy of our love. What preceded this action was Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Pretty insane story if you ask me. This is Mary’s response to what Jesus did for her. We can relate that pretty easily to our lives. When is the last time you let yourself be reminded of what Jesus did for you on the cross? When is the last time you reflected on what Jesus is doing in your life right now? Take a few minutes and let yourself be reminded of who you know Jesus to be. Think about how He is active in your life right now.
This story also reveals that our love towards Jesus is best represented in action. Mary could have easily told Jesus how much she loved him, but instead she chose to SHOW Jesus how much she loved Him. Loving God might sound a little weird. We normally talk a lot about us receiving God’s love, but we rarely talk about what it means for us to love God in return. In any healthy relationship, as love is given, love is also reciprocated. So what does it mean for you to show God that you love Him? Your first response might be “by sharing the Gospel with people”. While that’s definitely not a bad answer, I want to propose that one of the best ways you can show you love God is by spending time with Him. By reading a blog like this on a regular basis. By turning your thoughts to Him throughout the day and letting Him know what is on your mind and heart. I think God would prefer to know you because you choose to talk to Him about things, not just because He is omniscient and knows everything already.
To end, look up a verse or passage in the Bible you know well or connect with. If you don’t have one in mind, just read the chapter leading up to John 12, the story we just read. As you read, take note of what sticks out to you. It might be one or two things, but don’t feel pressured to read a ton. Sit on those one or two things and ask yourself what it reveals about you, what it reveals about Jesus, and what should you do because of it. In your mind (or out loud if you’re feeling up to it) tell God what you are thinking. Guess what? You just showed God you loved him by spending time with Him. Amen!