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Is He worth it?

June 22, 2015

anointingA week before His crucifixion, Jesus sat in the house of Simon in Bethany. While He ate supper Mary, the sister of Lazarus, came to where Jesus was reclining beside the table. She brought with her a container made out of alabaster, a beautiful stone carved and polished into a fitting vessel for an expensive ointment. She broke the seal on the box and began to anoint Jesus’ head and feet with the ointment. The ointment of spikenard was a precious oil imported from India that gave off a pleasing aroma. The gospel of Mark goes to some lengths to stress the price and purity of this ointment. She did not bring a cheap imitation of spikenard. She did not have a diluted version of spikenard. What Mary brought was the very best, the pure and genuine article. Hers was a very expensive ointment to be reserved for only the most important of purposes. Mary gave of her costly ointment to anoint Jesus.

Anointing with oil served a couple purposes in Jesus’ day. Anointing oil was used in cleansing. When one bathed he would rub himself with oil as a perfuming agent. When a very special guest came into a house, the master would have servants wash the guest and anoint with oil, essentially massaging him with oil to refresh the weary traveler. Mary anointed Jesus with oil to refresh Him after His journey. Simon probably had servants that washed Jesus’ feet, but Mary wanted to do something extra, something special for Jesus. After watching Jesus restore life to her brother, no gift was too great to express her love to her Lord. She took the expensive, perfumed oil and rubbed it into his feet and scalp. Her act was one of rich kindness and humility. Her deep love for her Savior prompted her to take the role of a lowly slave and sacrifice what was probably her most valued treasure in an act of extravagant devotion to her Lord. Mary’s gift was a glorious expression of her great love for her Savior. What a beautiful picture of service and worship to God!

Jesus is God the Son and the Savior of men. All throughout history men have shown honor to great men with lavish gifts and expensive displays. It is very fitting that God who became man receive great praise. It is right to give extravagant praise to the Son of God. Mary recognized the infinite worht of Jesus. Her rich worship was right and praiseworthy. I speak often of glorifying God. To glorify God is to live a way shows other God is most important and that He is wonderful beyond all wonders. Mary’s act of praise does that. Her love and devotion held nothing back from her Lord. By her sacrifice she powerfully declares, without saying a word, that Jesus is worth everything. He is more important even than a rare and expensive ointment. He is worth pouring out the most precious treasure one possesses for Him. He is worth a life poured out in His service.


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