Hidden Heroes of Easter – Mary
Part Two of our Hidden Heroes of Easter Series
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. John 12:3 (NIV)
There’s just no pleasing some people. Folks who are so unhappy inside they feel compelled to find fault with everyone around them. Have you known anyone who seems to be permanently dissatisfied with you and anything you do? Hard to be with them, isn’t it? No matter how we try to please them—or at least not anger them—it backfires. We often end up stifling our true character just to keep from calling attention to ourselves. We surely don’t want a scene, right? So, we hide. We become invisible. And, sometimes our fear of displeasing one person means missing God-sent opportunities.
Today’s “hidden hero of Easter” is Mary, Lazarus’ sister. She chose to do something totally out of the ordinary, born from a deep desire to please and honor Jesus—no matter what anyone else might think.
Just stop a moment and imagine the scene. Jesus has been invited to dinner. Lazarus is healthy and well again. Hard to believe looking at him that a short time ago he walked out of his own grave, alive after being dead. But here he is. And here is Jesus, Mary’s Lord, the One who called Lazarus out of that grave. Oh, how she adores her Lord. This man is resurrection and life. She worships Him as the Messiah He is. She longs to show Him her devotion. But sitting here is a roomful of people. Mostly men. Women were “less than” in her time, and a proper woman wouldn’t push forward in a crowd of men and do the bold thing she feels compelled to do. What will people think? What will people say?
Deep in her heart had grown a desire to pour out treasure at His feet. An outrageously extravagant act that cries out with her love and worship. She takes her expensive bottle of nard … worth a year’s wages. If we compare the average wage in America today that would mean her bottle of perfume was worth $56,516. A huge sum of money.
She walks into that room and reverently empties $56,516 worth of nard over Jesus. Then, she wipes His feet with her hair. There. It’s poured out. Every beautiful drop of it. The room is filled with a heady aroma. What a startling act of sacrifice and abandonment. Probably to Mary even this doesn’t seem enough, but she’s gladly pouring it out on Him. Her desire to please Jesus, her One and Only, overshadows any thought of others or their opinions.
Judas complains. Of course he does. He’s the disciple who’s dissatisfied with the ways of Jesus and has hardened his heart. I suspect he was unhappy—and unhappy people find fault. The Bible doesn’t record whether or not his words hurt Mary, but does record Jesus’ beautiful affirmation of her gift of love, “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Mark 14:6b-9, NIV).
Dear Lord, this story humbles me. Mary gave all she had, with joy, not worrying what others would think. Help me to follow You like that. Forgive me when I’m held back due to fear of others’ opinions. I want to please You and You alone. I want to be poured out in the way I use my time. I want to be more generous in the way I spend my money. Mostly, Lord, help me look to You for approval. Not others. You, Lord, are the One who loves me most of all, and You are the One whose burdens are light. How I worship You today. How I thank You for Your sacrifice that enables me to pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
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