Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” – Matthew 26:6-13 (NLT)
The ointment poured on Jesus’ feet is called “pure nard” in Mark’s and John’s accounts. This was a perfumed oil that was used in Jesus’ day for ceremonial acts of loyalty. Jesus honors the woman (who is identified in John’s gospel as Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha) for this act of solemn devotion. Mary’s act here is sacrificial. The expense of the ointment she uses must be great for the disciples to react the way they did. Mary also sacrificed embarrassment by being ridiculed by the disciples and those at the party. This is an act of worship of the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15). Mary’s devotion to Jesus is strong and she shows it with this act of devotion.
Does the way Mary worships Jesus (sacrificially) resemble how you worship Jesus? How do you show devotion for God?