Mary Anoints the Feet of Jesus with Perfume
Matthew 26:6–16 / Mark 14:3–11 / Luke 22:3–6
On the Wednesday before his death, in the midst of swirling controversy and growing tension, Jesus rests. He is in Bethany, just a few miles outside of Jerusalem, in the home of Simon the Leper. Think about what it means that Jesus is eating with a man whose reputation is built on his debilitating disease.
But while there, the sister of Lazarus comes to him. Lazarus, you may recall, is the man Jesus raised from the dead some days previous. She pops the cork on a $50,000 bottle of perfume and uses it to anoint the feet of Jesus. The reactions of those present were varied and startling. Most telling was the reaction of Jesus himself. It causes us to consider our own reaction.
Mary’s Perfume Points us to the Cross
“For those of us who follow Jesus, it is tempting to be attracted by a vision of the Christian life that is filled with warm hospitality and even extravagant worship, but that has no real room in it for a suffering and dying Lord or for the dying-to-ourselves way of life into which Jesus calls us…The temptation will come to skip from Palm Sunday to Easter, with little attention to the pathos and severe injustice of Jesus’ suffering and death.”
Mary’s act of anointing our Savior’s feet was an act of humble adoration. Let us adore him also.
Behold our God
Who has felt the nails upon his hands?
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal, humbled to the grave
Jesus, Savior, risen now to reign
our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon:
Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.