“Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” Matthew 26:6-13 ESV
“And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Mark 14:3-9 ESV
“Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” John 12:1-8 ESV
Imagine yourself sitting at the dinner table with your closest friends. Suddenly an aromatic fragrance fills the air and before you can identify what it is you realize a woman is anointing Jesus.
Her unhindered worship mingles with the perfume and fills the room with love for her Savior. She is not distracted by the presence of others in the room. She is not moved by the condemning conversation surrounding her. She is focused in worship. The only words she hears are those from the object of her worship, “she has done a beautiful thing to me”.
When we come to God in authentic worship, unhindered by our surroundings, our spirit lingers in His presence – and it is a beautiful thing – a sweet, smelling fragrance to Jesus.
Over the next week we will be watching as Christ is preparing for His final days before the crucifixion. May we spend time in prayer and worship, meditating on the sacrifice He made so we can come into His presence and have a relationship with Him.
Jesus, help me to focus on You this week. Remind me of all the ways in which You suffered for me – not just physically, but also emotionally, as You carried the weight of the knowledge of what was to come. Help me to see myself walking these last days beside You. Allow me to see this last week in a fresh, new perspective. Amen