The Gift in the Silence


"Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me." - John 12:1-8

Scripture tells us that after raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus knew that the chief priests were plotting His death and so he did not walk openly among the Jews, but instead went to the city of Ephraim, a city near the wilderness. Six days before the Passover, the time when Jesus would host the last supper, right before His crucifixion, Jesus returned to Bethany, a place where He would escape to, in order to find silence and peace among friends.

Jesus was in the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary. This was not the first time that Jesus had come to their home for solitude, but it would be His last. While there teaching, Mary was overwhelmed with her love for Jesus. In order to show Him this love, she knelt before him quietly and anointed His feet with nard.

She could have used the expensive perfume for herself, maybe her own wedding, or sold it, but she saw Jesus as more important. When she wiped his feet with her hair, she did the job of a servant. But Mary also did something else. Anointing was normally done to kings or very important people. Mary knew that Jesus was important and so, she anointed Him, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

This anointing would prepare Him for His death and burial. This precious gift, done quietly away from the crowds, would ready Jesus for the immense task of dying for humanity. This precious gift was one way that one woman could show one Rabbi that she knew He was the One.

What is a way that you can show extravagant love to Jesus? Does He know that He is more important to you than possessions, jobs or money?

As you ponder this, sing to yourself the praise hymn, "More Precious Than Silver".

Lord, You are more precious than silver.
Lord, You are more costly than gold.
Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds,
And nothing I desire compares to You.

Thank You Jesus for Your incredible love. You loved us so much, that You were willing to go to the cross for us. Help me to love You more than anything else in the world. Amen.
Apr 7 2019