During the hustle and bustle of Holy Week, Jesus retreated to Bethany to spend some quiet hours with His disciples. At the gathering that evening, Jesus dined, rested, and enjoyed the company of beloved friends at the home of Simon the leper (Matthew 26:6, Mark 14:3). I’m gonna climb out on a limb and suggest that on some earlier date, Jesus had healed his host of his ugly disease. I’ll also suggest that Simon was the father of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised after being in the grave for four days (John 11:38-44).
While Jesus reclined at the table, a most perplexing incident occurred. Mary (John 12:3), one of the hostesses at the grand occasion, approached her Lord and proceeded to anoint Him with oil.
Priests and Kings in the Old Testament were anointed. Aaron was anointed as High Priest (Leviticus 8:12). David was anointed by the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 16:12), signifying the presence of God’s Spirit upon him as he was ordained to his specific calling.
And dead people were anointed! To mask the putrid stench of death and decay, a corpse was doused with fragrant oil.
Obviously, Mary loved Jesus. As she looked across the room and saw her daddy and her brother, tears of joy sprang to her eyes.
More importantly, Mary knew that Jesus was both High and Holy Priest, and that He was King above of all other kings! She knew that Jesus was the Lamb, the One to be sacrificed at Passover. He would soon be dead (Mark 14:8). On the cross He would pay the exorbitant price of our pardon!
She got it right!
There’s one more significant lesson to learn. She was without reserve in her worship! The alabaster jar of anointing oil was valued at 300 denarii (Mark 14:5; John 12:5). A single denarius was the wage a laborer earned in a day... 300 was a year’s wages! She was generous with Jesus!
To borrow Steve Green’s lyrics: “Her most precious treasure was broken and spilled out, and poured at His feet.”
She spared no expense, because God spared no expense for her pardon. He, Jesus, would be broken and spilled out for her, and for each of us!
Jesus is worthy of our extravagant worship! Our time, our talents, and our tithes, should be lavished on Him!