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.
An Unmistakable Aroma
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.
i. This was ointment of spikenard.
ii. It was costly.
a. Those that murmured against her knew how much it was worth, dollar-wise.
b. But they had no idea what it was worth to Mary.
iii. This was a fragrance that would have been saved up for the most intimate of moments.
a. Yet here, Mary pours out her most intimate fragrance on the head and feet of the One who changed her life.
B. The unmistakable aroma of worship is one that everyone can recognize.
1. There is no mistaking the scent of adoration when a sinner begins to pour their heart out and anoint Jesus Christ as Lord and King.
a. The aroma may be unmistakable, but the cost is known only to that person, and to the Anointed One.
A. I’m inviting everyone in this room to pour out the unmistakable aroma of worship to the Lord this morning.
1. The cost of your alabaster box is not important to me, or to anyone around you this morning.
2. Only you and Jesus understand the cost;
a. But what’s important is that you pour it out, and let the sweet, unmistakable aroma of heartfelt adoration fill this place.
A. These altars are open, and I’m inviting everyone to come fill this place with An Unmistakable Aroma.