Save Time and Preach Like Never Before. Try the new
for her actions to be interpreted this way, the custom was to first bathe and then anoint the body of a dead person. After the body was anointed, the flask that contained the ointment was to be broken and laid with the body in the tomb. Jesus knew that He would be put to death as a criminal, and that He would be buried without the proper anointing.

Jesus goes on to state that wherever the Gospel is preached that Mary’s act of devotion would be discussed and remembered. We are part of the fulfillment of that prophecy here today as we look at this Scripture.

As I studied this passage, I learned several things. First of all, the alabaster box of ointment contained something that was very precious, but as long as it stayed in the container, it didn’t benefit anyone. John says that when the perfume was poured out upon Jesus that its fragrance filled the house. Jesus called the act a good work, and the original Greek actually means “a beautiful thing.” God has given each one of us a spiritual gift. It may be great faith, acts of service, hospitality, teaching, or some other gift. But if you keep that gift to yourself, it benefits no one. It is your responsibility as a Christian to figure out what your gift is, and then to use it for the glory of God and the benefit of those around you. What good is the gift of preaching if you never preach? What good is the gift of leadership if you never lead?

When Mary wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair, she walked away smelling like Jesus did. When we use what we have for Jesus, others can sense that we have been with Him. If your gift is mercy, you display the mercy that Jesus showed to us when He died in our place. If your gift is evangelism, then you display the love that Jesus has for sinners. The use of our spiritual gifts causes others to sense Jesus’ presence in our lives.

I also learned that Mary couldn’t do much, but she did what she could. That’s what Jesus said about her in verse 8. Mary couldn’t keep the Jewish leaders from falsely accusing Jesus. She couldn’t keep the soldiers from crucifying Him, or the crowds from mocking Him. But she could show her love and devotion by sacrificing the most precious thing that she possessed. You may be sitting here this morning thinking, I can teach, I can’t sing, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, but too often we focus on what we can’t do instead of what we can. So what if you can’t teach? Not everyone is meant to be a teacher. Can you call someone on the phone and invite them to church? Can you go and visit someone who is in the hospital? Can you bring food for the food closet? For us to accomplish great things in God’s kingdom, we must all work together, doing whatever we have the ability to do.

Jesus told the disciples to leave her alone and to stop criticizing her. We must never disregard or devalue anyone else’s acts of
William Garrett
March 5, 2014
superb illustration. I will use the idea in one of our Lent reflections. Thank you. Bill
William Garrett
March 5, 2014
superb illustration. I will use the idea in one of our Lent reflections. Thank you.
Jeannie Mclemore
January 1, 2014
I enjoyed reading this today and it will go along with the song I will be singing "Mary's Alabaster Box". Thank you, and God Bless you! JM