Updated: Apr 21, 2019
Daily Reading and Devotional from the Gospels
6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. 8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. 11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. 12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. 13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
Mary listened. We learn from one of the other gospels that Mary of Bethany was the one that poured the ointment on Jesus that day at Simon’s house. (John 12:3). Mark tells us the value of this ointment was considerable, almost the equivalent to the average person’s yearly wage. (Jn 12:5). Why the extravagance? Why did Mary seemingly waste this incredible amount of expensive cologne on Christ? Jesus tells us the answer in verse 12, “…she did it for my burial”. Mary listened. Every time you find Mary in the Bible she is at Jesus’ feet. Whether it be soaking in his presence (Lk 10:42), pouring out her heartfelt tears (Jn 11:21), or pouring out ointment and wiping his feet dry with her hair, she was at his feet, focusing on him. That is why she heard what others missed. Jesus had been predicting his death for some time and she wanted to show her love to the living. Why do we give flowers to the dead and ignore the living anyway? Perhaps we should learn from Mary and show our affection while it can be better appreciated. I find it interesting that after Jesus had died and been buried that a group of women went on the third day to the tomb to anoint the body and this Mary was not among them. She had already anointed him so there was no need. Those other ladies never got their chance to anoint the body because my Lord had conquered death and risen from the grave. Mary was the only one among them that ever got to pay that respect because she listened. She had heard him say he would die and she listened to hear him say that in three days he would live again. Mary didn’t go to the tomb with them that day because she knew he wouldn’t be there. Mary listened. Lord, help me stay at your feet so I too can hear your voice. Help me listen.