Summary: Let’s be open to the heart of Jesus that He may reveal to us the beautiful things He has planned for us to do.
You know Jesus has some very strange friends! We are told that this dinner was held in the home of Simon the Leper from the details recorded both in Matthew 26:6 and Mark 14:3. I don’t think His friends would be considered “Cool” do you? After all, we can be sure that no self~respecting Jew would have been seen having dinner with someone associated with leprosy. Apart from Jesus of course, who seemed to enjoy breaking the religious taboos of His day. Perhaps Jesus had healed Simon ~ we can’t be too sure. In any case Jesus wanted to be there to share a meal with His closest friends, and His friends dearly wanted to honour Him.
2. Not in Public ~ Please!
Even stranger, Mary decided to pour an expensive perfume over Jesus’ feet ~ normally oil was poured on the head ~ if at all! And worse still she actually wiped His feet with her hair. Surely, everyone knew no respectable woman would be seen unbinding her hair in public. And after all only servant’s had the lowly task of having to attend to anyone’s feet. There are some things you just shouldn’t be seen doing in public ~ ever. Unless of course you are a close friend of Jesus.
3. Well What a Waste!
What a terrible waste of such a costly and expensive perfume. How right Judas was to point out that the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. After all it was worth a year’s wages.
But was it a waste? In the eyes of the world, and of course a thief who liked to help himself from the moneybag it’s a clear cut case of throwing good money away. However, we cannot equate the value of lives and possessions according to the economy of this world’s values and opinions. A bright university graduate going to the mission field would be a waste ~ not so for CT Studd and if you have had the privilege of reading his biography you would have to agree. A widow giving the last few pennies she had to live on is not even worth acknowledging ~ but not according to Jesus (see Luke 21:1~4). We need kingdom eyes, and ears, and even more importantly hearts to see and understand the true value of Heavenly treasures.
Mary gave the most expensive treasure she had to Jesus, she alone had the honour of anointing Him in preparation for burial, she was defended and honoured by Him in public, just as she had been publicly rebuked and criticised in front of everyone. It is His right to honour His own, and defend them in His way and time. You know Mary didn’t just give her fortune away ~ she gave her whole heart to Jesus.
4. Doing Beautiful Things for Jesus
Jesus actually said Mary had done a beautiful thing to Him (Mark 14:6). “All things bright and beautiful” we used to sing as children ~ wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be bright and beautiful, as part of God’s new creation, living out a beautiful life just for Him? We can no longer actually serve Jesus in bodily form as Mary had who did not miss that window of opportunity. No, we have to do it for others. In His name and by the power of His Holy Spirit. Remember Jesus promised that even giving a cup of cold water would be noticed and rewarded by Him (see Mark 9:41).