Around Christmas-time I was reading about Mary and the spectacular love-offering she bestowed on Jesus. We don’t have any information about the financial status of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha in Bethany. We know that Jesus visited them and that Martha busied herself to serve Jesus and his disciples what surely was the best meal she knew how to prepare.
Mary chose what Jesus called “better”, to sit at His feet and listen to His teachings. (See Luke 10:38-42.) Six days before Passover, the year Jesus laid down His life for us, He once again arrived at Bethany and a dinner was given in His honor. Martha served, Lazarus sat at the table, and Mary… Once again she sat at Jesus’s feet.
Mary loved Jesus. She loved him so much she was willing to offer Him her most treasured possession. Imagine something you had worked very hard to earn. Every pay-check went to acquire that special thing. As a matter of fact, every pay-check for an entire year went to pay for that special acquisition. In Mary’s case it was a very expensive perfume, a pint of pure nard.
Picture Mary at Jesus’ feet. She doesn’t dab a little of her perfume on Jesus. She pours the whole thing on His feet! That was more than Judas Iscariot could take! How could Mary be so wasteful! All that money’s worth could have gone to the poor! (See John 12:1-8.) What a waste, he thought!
Mary poured the perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. I can picture the tenderness in her touch. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume! The perfume lingered in Mary’s hair and on Jesus’s feet. What an act of love!
As I was reading and meditating on this incident the word fragrance stood out. I thought about how the house in Bethany was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. Then I thought of my life and the coming year of 2016. So I chose fragrance as my theme word. How I wish that the fragrance of my life, poured out at the feet of Jesus, will fill my surroundings.
What happened at Bethany when Mary poured the costly perfume on Jesus is a beautiful picture of what should happen when we pour out our love at Jesus’ feet; the fragrance of this act should spread all around us.
This is how the apostle Paul expresses it:
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)
Let me leave you to process this simple thought. How can you spread the aroma of Christ, the fragrance of heaven, to those around you? There are so many stenches in this world; there is so much ugliness, so much hurt and pain. People need something beautiful; something that will fill them with wonder. What better thing than the aroma of Christ? Oh, that in 2016 we may spread the fragrance of our Lord!
The Beloved in Song of Songs prays,
“Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” (Song 4:16)
I pray that you will have a wonderful year. The world around us is in turmoil but the Shalom of God will fill you to overflowing. Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Why not choose your word for the year? I talked to some of my grandchildren about it, and they wanted to choose words.
- Work hard at all I do
- Jesus is love
Aren’t these just wonderful words to live by?
Do like Mary, pour your love at the feet of Jesus. May the fragrance spread abroad!