John 12:1-3 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Bethany was a small town in Judea, near Jerusalem.
Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus of Bethany were faithful friends of Jesus and He loved them very much. When he would pass through Bethany on His way to Jerusalem, He would stop by their house along with His disciples and they were always welcomed and treated with hospitality.
Going to the house of Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus was not uncommon for Jesus because their home in Bethany was his stop by place to rest and fellowship a little while on His travel back to Jerusalem.
In this text, we see Lazarus relaxing and enjoying his fellowship with Jesus whom he loved dearly. We see Martha doing what she loves and that is being hospitable in serving Jesus the meal that was prepared for Him and we see Mary sitting at Jesus feet, which was her favorite place to be when Jesus visit their home.
This day on His visits to the house of His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus was different. It wasn't a day when He was passing through to say hello and check on them, it was a day in which they would show Him how much they loved and cared for Him.
These two sisters and their brother wanted to honor their Lord and friend Jesus and they did so with a dinner.
Mary, as we have seen in previous scripture is again at the feet of Jesus.
In a previous visit of Jesus to their home, Mary was at the feet of Jesus listening to Him teach while her sister Martha was busy in the kitchen preparing the physical meal and complaining about Mary not being of any help to her in preparation of the meal she is wanting to serve Jesus and His disciples.
Six days before the Jewish Passover and Jesus crucifixion we find Mary at the feet of Jesus with another purpose and that is to anoint his feet with an expensive oil and wipe his feet with her hair, which is her form of "Worship" to Jesus.
Mary humbles herself in kneeling at the feet of Jesus is a sign of humility and her pouring her expensive oil upon his feet is a symbol of a sacrificial offering unto the Lord.
According to Judas Iscariot who would later betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, this was a waste of the oil that could have been sold to help the poor which really was not his intent for he was a thief and the value of three hundred denarii which was about a year's wage was too much to waste on Jesus, but was good enough for him to pocket.
Jesus reply to Judas in vs#7 was “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it[c] for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
What Jesus was saying was that we must honor Him, or serve Him whenever we have the opportunity.
Mary would not always have the opportunity to anoint the Lord's feet with oil and so she had to do it when the opportunity was at hand.
Mary, Martha and Lazarus honored their friend Jesus that day when they invited Him into their home because they did it out of love that was stored up in their hearts for Him.
What have you done for Jesus lately? In what way have you honored Him, even today?
Mary anoints Jesus with her most valuable asset, the bottle of anointing oil.
What are you willing to offer Jesus on today that would cost you all that you have? Is it your life as His servant?
Today is the day of sacrificial offering unto the Lord. What are you willing to give up for Jesus?
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