This blog is about Mary, a beautiful friend Jesus had, who did a beautiful thing to him.
I picture Mary as quiet and gentle woman with a heart of gold. The first time we meet her in the Bible she is sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to his words. When her sister complained that she didn’t get help in the kitchen, Jesus said, “Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42).
The next time, she is confused and disappointed. She and Martha had called on Jesus when their brother Lazarus was sick, but Jesus took his time and didn’t arrive until Lazarus had been in the grave four days! Both sisters had the same thing to say, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Jesus had a greater miracle in mind than healing Lazarus. He did a resurrection miracle! What an amazing sight it must have been when Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave. “The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face” (John 11:44). Because of this, many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and saw the miracle, put their faith in Jesus.
We meet her again six days before the Passover, when she showed her love for Jesus with a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume, that she poured on his feet, and then she wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume!
Not everybody appreciated her act of sacrificial love. Judas Iscariot complained, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” As we have seen, Martha complained to Jesus because Mary didn’t help out in the kitchen, and now Judas complained because of her generosity. There will always be complainers when we shower our love on Jesus. But He understands and he sees our heart.
Mary must have been a hardworking woman. Either she inherited the perfume or she got it by saving up with hard work. A year’s wages in our day would at least be twenty or thirty thousand dollars.
When Mary poured the perfume at the feet of Jesus, not only Judas complained. All the disciples were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor” (Matthew 26:8,9). Nothing we give to Jesus is a waste!
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Mark 14:6-9).
Make this a very special week. “Sit at the feet of Jesus” so to speak. Open your heart to listen to him. Just sit quietly in his presence. Make time for him!
Would you like Mary pour a precious perfume, worth a year’s wages at his feet? I don’t know what that would mean for you. We have different things that are precious to us. Jesus is worth it all. Nothing we give to him is a waste!
When Mary chose to sit at Jesus feet, Jesus had one word, “It will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42). When you chose to be in his presence, no one can take that away from you. Even as I write these words I feel the sweet presence of Jesus. It’s like what happened when Mary poured her offering on the feet of Jesus, that the whole room was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Mary did a beautiful thing to Jesus. I don’t know what beautiful thing you can do, but I know what I can do for Jesus. Whatever it is we do, let’s make it beautiful. Jesus our Savior deserves the best we can give: love, time, money, talents…
Let’s do a beautiful thing for Jesus!