Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:3
Extravagant wastefulness. That's what they called it.
A beautiful thing... a good deed... a gift worth remembering, forever. That's how He saw it.
She gave without counting the cost. Because He was worth it.
How could they not see?
I wish I could be more like her, but I'm afraid, in my heart, I'm like them.
A misguided disciple.
Her gift was extreme. Wasteful. Lavish. Extravagant.
derived from Latin, present participle of extrāvagārī;
extrā - outside of + vagārī - to wander;
going beyond usual bounds, unrestrained
exceeding the bounds of reason, as actions… or passions
wandering beyond bounds
She was unrestrained in her giving. A year's wages. Broken and poured out.
Me... I'm more measured... seldom wandering beyond the realm of reason.
More restrained. Calculating the cost. Justifying a better use for the wastefulness.
A calm, unemotional, indifferent disciple. That's who I tend to be. Prone to forgetting.
Wholehearted devotion. That is what I see in Mary. That is what Jesus called 'beautiful'.
And a depth of spiritual insight painfully lacking in the disciples.
Mary saw Jesus for who He really was. A King, a High Priest, a Saviour who must die... for her.
Jesus had forewarned His disciples... told them of His impending death and resurrection. Perhaps they didn't hear... didn't understand.
But Mary knew.
I believe, deep in her spirit, Mary saw who He was... understood the sacrificial love of God the Son, forsaken by God the Father, in order that she may be counted blameless.
She knew the extraordinary, pursuing, eternal love for one who was undeserving.
How could she not respond?
How could she not give him her all?
Mary knew that only one thing was needed... to be seated at the feet of Jesus... in total surrender. And so, unabashedly, with her heart solely focused on Jesus and paying no mind to herself, she poured out her devotion to Him.
Generous, timely and memorable, not because of who gave it, but because of Who she gave it to. She didn't allow herself to get in the way of her gift. Didn't allow the focus to remain on her. Not counting the cost, she did what she 'had' to do - "and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." John 12:3b
What about us?
How are we pouring out our love for Jesus?
The One who 'took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted... the one who 'was pierced for our transgressions, ...crushed for iniquities'; who brought us peace through the punishment that was on him, and who has healed us by his wounds. Isaiah 53:4-5
Are we giving all that we have to The One who loved us without counting the cost?
Or are we giving just enough? Just enough to appease our guilty conscience?
Measured... calculated... restrained.
Oh, I pray to be a Mary - wholly devoted to The Only One who could take away my guilt and shame... The One who looked at me in my helpless state and paid the price that I couldn't pay... The One who covered me with His blood and replaced my low-down, dirty sinfulness with his pure righteousness.
I pray to be unabashed in my devotion... not because I have to... not because there's something in it for me, but simply because He is worth it.
What about you?
Are you taking all that you have, offering it as an extravagant gift to Jesus, and filling the 'room' with the sweet aroma of Christ?