Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” –John 12:1-8
John 12:1-8 is the biblical account about Mary of Bethany. Here we see how much love this woman has expressed to our Lord. She does not care about how much she is spending and who are looking. Her eyes are set upon her Lord and God, unwavering, full of devotion and truthfulness. She exudes genuine worship.
We can see about Mary three things:
- Being Selfless- She does not mind spending a valuable personal possession- a pure nard perfume. She does not care about losing it. All she wants is to offer to the Lord the best she can give. That is being selfless. It is pure and true.
Being Selfless is a mother’s virtue. Often, a mother would rather absorb the pain of her child if only to keep him or her from suffering. A mother would save the best portion of food for her children and would take the least craved. Selflessness is being sacrificial, thinking less of oneself and more of another especially the one he or she cares for. Any person can exude selflessness like Mary if that person knows how to give more of him or her self with no strings attached.
- Being Courageous- She washes the Lord’s feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair. It must have been controversial during those times but she does not care about what people would think about her. She is courageous to defy what people would say.
How can we be courageous in our everyday relationships? Do the right thing even if it is not the popular choice among your circle of friends; saying the right words even if it hurts. Being assertive is being courageous. Being assertive is having the courage to tell what other people need to hear in a nice way. Sometimes, we need to assert what is right without being too aggressive because aggressiveness would offend them more than correcting them.
- Being Loving- She does not care about the cost of her offering. Even if it costs a year’s wage, she does not mind. For God, she can be extravagant.
We lavish things for the ones we love. How much more for God and to those God loves! How can we show love to others?
- with words of affirmation
- giving quality time
- doing acts or service
- giving gifts
- through physical touch
This is the challenge to all:
Give God your best effort.
Most precious hour is everyday of your life.
Use your most valued possession for His glory.
Such devotion not only pleases God but tells the world how great He is!
Condensed from the sermon of Mrs Thelma Japzon, Vice Chairperson of the Church Council on March 24, 2013, WSCS Sunday at the Lagro UMC
Image credit: http://www.bible-people.info/Martha_and_Mary.htm