Summary: This message investigates the act of Mary's washing of Jesus' feet to show what an awesome act of worship it was, and the significance of it.

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All For The Love Of Jesus

By Rev. Donnie L. Martin

Text: John 12:1-9


A. Mary Expended Great Cost.

B. Mary Experienced Grievous Criticism.


A. Mary Demonstrated Great Humility.

B. Mary Deemed Jesus Worthy Of Great Honor.


A. It Symbolized Mary’s Sincere Love.

B. It Symbolized The Master’s Sacrificial Life.


Intro: Recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John, is a very beautiful and touching story of a woman who, out of love and appreciation for Jesus, anointed Him with a very precious and aromatic ointment. The woman who performed this loving act was none other than Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha of Bethany, who were close friends of Jesus.

Drawing from my summation of all three gospel accounts, Simon, a former leper, invited Jesus and His disciples, along with Lazarus, Martha and Mary, to a supper in Jesus’ honor. As a point of interest, let me mention that to eat with an unhealed leper, would have rendered all the participants ceremonially unclean. So don’t let the title “Simon the Leper” confuse you. The Great Physician had healed this man.

We’re not told what the relationship was between Lazarus, his sisters, and Simon. But their closeness is implied by the fact that Martha helped serve the meal in Simon’s house.

Simon and Lazarus definitely had things in common, since both of them had experienced the miraculous power of Christ in their lives: Simon having been healed of leprosy (cf. Mark 1:40), and Lazarus having been raised from the dead (cf. John 11: 38-44). This may have been the reason for the meal in the first place.

Characteristic of Martha, she jumped right in to help serve the meal. This brings out a distinct contrast between Martha and Mary. Martha is always depicted as working for Jesus, while Mary is always depicted as worshiping Jesus. To put this another way: Martha labored for Jesus, while Mary listened to Jesus. Both qualities are important in the Christian life.

At some point while Jesus was reclining at the table, Mary brought in a flask containing a precious ointment, and anointed His head and feet. However, John’s gospel, attempting to focus on the loving humility of Mary’s act, only mentions the anointing of Christ’s feet.

This was an act of sincere love and appreciation on Mary’s part. But it wasn’t only an act of appreciation. According to Jesus, this was also an act done in anticipation. Mary had apparently understood what the disciples had not. Jesus was about to die for the sins of the world.

There are some great truths to be learned from Mary’s loving act of worship. Let’s search them out together.

Theme: The anointing of Jesus by Mary, was:


A. Mary Expended Great Cost.

John 12:3a “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus…


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