Mary Anoints Jesus with Perfume
Daily Bible Reading – 2 Samuel 17; Psalm 71; Matthew 26
Today’s Key Passage – Matthew 26:6-13
In today’s key passage, we find the story of Mary of Bethany. Mary actually has three different stories in the New Testament. The first story is found in Luke 10:38-42 when Jesus visits her home. While her sister Martha spends her time running around trying to serve Jesus, Mary sits at Jesus’ feet and listens to every word He has to say. We see Mary again in John 11:1-44 when her brother Lazarus dies and Jesus resurrects him. Her final story is found today in our passage, which is also located in Mark 14:3-9 and John 12:1-11. Jesus is only days away from His crucifixion, and he stops at the home of Simon the Leper in Bethany. While in this home, Mary came to Jesus with a very expensive jar of perfume and poured it over his head as He was reclining at a table. In John’s account of this story, she also poured the perfume on Jesus’ feet and washed them with her hair. (Please note that this is not the same event found in Luke 7:36-50 in which a sinful woman anoints Jesus’ feet. This is a separate, although fairly similar event, and should not be confused with Mary’s story found in today’s passage.) The disciples were not happy about Mary pouring this perfume on Jesus, as it was very expensive. In fact, the disciples point out that the perfume could have been sold for a year’s wages and the money could have been given to the poor. Jesus, however, was pleased with Mary’s gesture, and said, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”(Vss 10-13)
I think we can learn a lot from Mary’s story. Mary knew that there was a time and a place to worship Jesus, regardless of the cost. She did not seem to care that the perfume was costly. She did not seem to care that the disciples would criticize her sacrifice. The only thing she cared about was spending time worshiping Jesus, and she worshiped Him in the best way she knew. Like Mary, it is important that we take the time to stop everything and worship Jesus. We should spend our time with Him in prayer, and we should spend our time reading God’s Word. For many of us, this might prove to be costly. To really spend time with Jesus on a daily basis, we might have to get up early or stay up late. We might have to spend our lunch break with Him instead of going out to lunch with the group from the office. We might have to skip watching our favorite television show to make time to spend with Jesus. There might be many things we need to sacrifice to make a time to worship Him, but all of these sacrifices are well worth it. Though the disciples seemed to disagree at first, Jesus confirmed that Mary had her priorities straight. When it comes to worshiping Jesus and spending time with Him, it is important that we have our priorities straight as well. Do not allow anything to keep you from spending time worshiping Him daily. As we spend more time with Jesus, we will continue to grow and mature in our faith, and we will find that we are better able to serve Him in all that we do.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.