Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’ (John 12:3-8)
When I first read this story, I did not rember the miracle Jesus had performed earlier — raising Lazarus, Mary's brother, from the dead. Mary's act of anointing Jesus' feet with costly oils and her own tears was her way of thanking him for bringing back her brother. The lovely smell of the oils was a vivid contrast to the foul odors of Lazarus's tomb. Mary gesture also seems to be an acknowledgement of Jesus' upcoming trial and sacrifice, giving his life not only for Lazarus but for all peoples for all times. Her extravegant, unselfish act is in great contrast to Judas' opinion that it was unnecessary and too costly. In this we see Mary as a true disciple and Judas as a weak person.
Dear Lord, help me to be as Mary, willing to go beyond the ordinary to acknowledge the love of Christ in my life. Amen
Beverly McMahan — Mature student of scripture