Out of Love

Have you ever broken a bottle of perfume in the house? I have. The scent fills the house with fragrance and lingers for many days—even after scrubbing and airing.

Most of us know the story of the woman anointing Jesus. It's found in John 12:1-9, Matthew 26:1-13 and Mark 14:1-9. John's account gives us the most detail, and it's there that we see the woman is Mary, Martha's sister. Mary, Lazarus' sister. Mary, the woman who chose to worship rather then be distracted than by trying to do more than was necessary.

Jesus was eating dinner with his friends at the home of Simon the Leper when a woman, Mary, anointed His head and feet with extremely expensive perfume, and then used her hair to wipe them. Judas Iscariot declared the act horribly wasteful and said it would've been better to sell the perfume and use the proceeds to help the poor. (Doesn't that sound so good?) Some of the disciples picked up his outcry, but Jesus hushed them and told them to leave her alone. Mark 14:8 quotes Jesus as saying “She has done what she could;” The phrase arrested me. Mary did what she could...

Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. ~John 12:3

I can't help but wonder how long the fragrance lingered in Simon the Leper's home? How many people smelled the perfume on Jesus? In John 12:9 it says there was a large crowd there to see both Jesus and the resurrected Lazarus--did they smell the perfume? How could they not if they were anywhere near Jesus?

When Mary poured out her precious perfume on Jesus, she did what she could. She gave her best to the One she loved most. Mary openly declared her devotion to Jesus, not caring who would know or see. As she poured out her love on Jesus, her gift probably splashed over onto her—physically and I'm sure spiritually, too. Not only would Jesus have carried the scent with Him when He left the house, but Mary would have also. Her life was fragrant with her love for Jesus.

According to John's account, this event happened about a week before Jesus was crucified. The perfume Mary used was very pure and of a high quality and I wonder how long the fragrance lingered on Jesus? Could Pilate and Herod smell it, even vaguely, when He stood before them? Was that scent burned on their memory, haunting them every time they smelled it? So many memories are associated with smell. How often were the apostles pulled back to those days leading up to Christ's crucifixion because they smelled the nard that was used for burials?

Jesus willingly poured out and gave His life for us on the cross when He died in our place and for our sins. How can we do any less than our best for Him? How can we consider anything too precious to give Him?

When we follow Mary's example and do what we can—when we give wholeheartedly to Jesus, our lives are touched and carry the fragrance of being with the Savior. Those times that we give Him the leftovers of our best, the leftovers of our time and efforts, are like a bad odor, a stench even, compared to the precious fragrance of giving our all to Him.

Jesus gave His life out of love for us. Let's anoint Him with our best and make Him the anointed One of our lives—out of love for Him.


  1. Giving my preciousest to Him. Thank you.

  2. I was very touched by this Patty. I love the phrase "did what she could". That really is what is asked of us. I don't have to do what you do...or he does...or she does. I need to do what I can!
    You have me thinking...thanks!
    Easter blessings to you.

  3. Thank you, Audrey.

    You're so right. Doing what God calls us to do personally is what we need to do, doing what we can.


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