An Extraordinary Measure of DevotionJuly 9, 2012 1:55 pm love
In John 12:1-8, Jesus is in the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus for a meal. Jesus often resorted to this home because of the love and friendship that He enjoyed there. This event takes place not long after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. During this meal, we learn of an extraordinary measure of devotion on the part of Mary.
Mary takes an expensive ointment (about a year’s wages in value) and anoints the feet of Jesus. Her act was extraordinary in three ways:
1. The gift was very expensive. The pound of perfume made of pure nard was worth a year’s wages. The amount of the gift is an indication of the love and devotion she had for the Lord. Her love prompted sacrifice.
2. The anointing of the feet was extraordinary. Normally, one would anoint the head and wash the feet. This was not an everyday occurrence in Palestine. That makes the act unexpected and exceptional. Her love prompted humility.
3. Mary’s wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair is unusual. It is more personal than a towel or her sleeve. For Mary, devotion takes precedence over convention. Her love was from the heart and involved giving herself.
True discipleship involves exceptional, extraordinary, unexpected love. Mary’s love for the Lord is unleashed in a moment of honor and respect. She is aware that Jesus’ death is near. Jesus foretold His own death several times. He clarified to the people present that Mary anointed Him against the day of His burial. Jesus is keenly aware of His impending death. The family of Mary, Martha and Lazarus have just experienced the death of Lazarus and the deep sadness associated with it. They recovered from Lazarus’ death when they experienced great joy over his resurrection to life. The miracle enhanced their understanding of who Jesus is. That understanding enriched their faith and love for Him. The result is an extraordinary act of devotion!
Love can take any moment and make it extraordinary. That is why love is the true mark of discipleship. We need to love without limits!