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Summary: There are some fragrances that have unique associations to each of us; there are others, however, that are unmistakable. The aroma of worship is an unmistakable aroma to God.

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An Unmistakable Aroma

John 12:1-7

I. Introduction

A. Each of us has certain fragrances that are almost instantly recognized by our sense of smell.

1. Not so long ago, when I applied a small amount of Stetson® cologne (which I don’t usually wear), my daughter told me “You smell like PawPaw!”

2. Even at such a young age, her sense of smell has already learned to associate that fragrance with someone special.

B. However, there are certain aromas that are familiar to almost every one of us, not just a particular individual.

1. You may not associate Stetson® cologne with my dad.

2. You may not be able to tell whether I’m wearing my wife’s favorite cologne or not.

3. You may walk into this sanctuary and not distinguish the fragrance of “Crisp Breeze” from the air fresheners like my wife and I can.

4. But there are certain fragrances that each of us would almost instantly recognize!

a. The fragrance of roses

b. The smell of freshly-cut grass

c. The incredible smell of bacon frying in a pan

C. Our story today tells us that there is an unmistakable aroma that can fill the room when we anoint our Savior with adoration.

II. The setting

A. Mark’s recording of this story (see Mark 14) tells us that Jesus was in the house of Simon the leper.

1. You’d be surprised where you’ll find Jesus if you go looking for Him.

a. He won’t always be in the synagogue.

b. He won’t always be surrounded by crystal cathedrals and angelic choirs singing His praises.

2. If you go looking for Jesus, you’re likely to find him:

a. Sitting in the house of a leper

b. Having dinner with a hated tax-collector

c. Changing the life of a Samaritan woman who’s currently living in adultery.

3. It’s amazing the places that we can find Jesus!

a. Aren’t you glad that He condescended to your home one day?

III. The Anointing

A. Here we see Martha serving dinner (yet again), and once again, we see the tender heart of Mary displayed.

1. Maybe this time she was helping Martha with the meal.

2. Perhaps this time she was busying herself with the domestic duties of a woman.

3. But still, in the midst of it all, something inside her draws her back to Jesus.

a. Can I tell someone that you’ll never truly anoint Him with worship until there’s an undeniable passion that draws you to Him?

B. She anoints the Master

1. John’s recording tells us that she anointed His feet.

2. But Matthew’s story says she anointed His head.

3. Luke’s gospel says that she poured the oil on His feet.

4. But Mark’s version says that it was His head that she anointed.

a. Which version is correct?

b. I’m here to tell someone that if you’re going to anoint Jesus with your own alabaster box of ointment, you’re going to anoint His head as well as His feet.

IV. An unmistakable aroma

A. The scripture tells us that, after Mary had anointed the Lord, “… the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.”

1. You see, this was not a fragrance that was particular to just one person in that room.

2. This was not just an aroma that only Mary recognized, or Jesus recognized.

a. This was an unmistakable aroma that everyone in the room recognized.


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William Drummond

commented on Mar 13, 2016

I like this rendition of this text. Only you and the Annointed One truly know the cost.

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