“Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair.” (John 12:1-3)
Mary anointed the feet of her Savior with a year’s worth of wages for the average person at that time. Okay, stop and read that last sentence again. One year’s worth of wages. Take your paycheck, every single week, for 52 weeks, and kiss it goodbye. Every single dollar.
[Now, I’m not playing the guilt game here. I believe that her sacrifice was an act of grace, only possible by God working through her. You and I can never work hard enough, sacrifice big enough, or simply be enough to get God to love us any more. He loves us as much as He possibly can. Constant and faithful love simply because it is His character, and He calls us His. Crazy, I know.]
But how could Mary sacrifice at such a cost? How could she so willingly and humbly give such an extravagant offering? Before she offered perfume, she offered her heart. She was found sitting at the feet of her Savior, desperate to hear His Word and simply be with Him. Is it such a coincidence that later on in the story she was confident that her sacrifice was worth it?
After all, it was at the feet of Jesus that she fell in love (Luke 10:38-42). At the feet of Jesus, she found comfort after her brother’s death (John 11:32-35). At the feet of Jesus, she found her place, the intimate space where she belonged. And the more time she spent there, the more extravagant her love became for her Bridegroom.
Our lives must be shaped by time at His feet. Do I run to there for love? Do I weep there for comfort? Do I offer a sacrifice? Do I sit there for wisdom? Do I beg there for strength? Do I worship there in adoration?
Is my life wholly dependent upon intimate time at the feet of Jesus?
Apart from Him, I can do nothing. The more time I spend at His feet, the more I can honor Him as He is worthy of being honored. I cannot lovingly sacrifice without spending time getting to know the One who deserves my sacrifice. And I cannot get to know Him without sitting at His feet.
At the feet of Jesus, Mary poured out a year’s worth of savings. Not because she had to. Not because everyone was watching. Not because she possessed excessive amounts of money. Her sacrifice naturally flowed from a heart that was wrapped around the One who holds everything together.
“But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42).
Now is the time for extravagant love, love that is sweetened by a humble position before His throne.
Some songs to get us to His feet:
- Phil Wickham’s Cielo “I can’t bow low enough, I can’t bow low enough at the vision of you my God…”
- Bethel Church’s I Love Your Presence “I love, I love, I love Your presence…”
- Bethany Dillon’s Hallelujah “You took my heart of stone, and You made it home, set this prisoner free…”
- Bethel Church’s God of the Redeemed “Hallelujah, to You, God of the redeemed…”
- Chris Tomlin’s Here for You “We welcome You with praise, Almighty God of Love, be welcome in this place…”