Rich Perfume

5th Sunday of Lent
Scripture: St. John 12:1-8

We enter the house of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary as they are preparing a dinner party. Lazarus, the disciples, and Jesus were lounging, preparing for the dinner feast.

We see that Martha once again is doing her thing, preparing to serve a meal to her guests. This is a special meal for it is passover time.

Mary enters the room going straight to Jesus, stooping down, pouring costly perfume on his feet, and wiping the excess off with her hair.

The whole house is filled with the aroma of the perfume. The action of the room changes instantly. Judas begins to complain about the waste of the costly perfume. He states that it could have been sold to feed the poor. The value of that perfume was a year’s wages for most men. The aroma of the perfume has filled the room like the presence felt in a worship service when the presence of the living Lord fills our lives.

That presence should help us to realize and know the depth that Jesus paid for our salvation. The atmosphere is like the living presence of Jesus in that room. Mary has stepped out on pure faith. For no woman at that day would have touched the feet of a man who was not her husband.

Likewise, wiping his feet with her hair meant she let her hair down and let it flow freely, which was a sign of a sinful street woman. She is so spiritually in love with the Lord that she is not concerned about what others might think of her.

Judas is showing his true colors, that he is the black sheep of the group.

Some scholars thoughts here might have been that he knew Judas’ ability to be the keeper of a groups finances and how to use them wisely. Or did Jesus, knowing that Judas would be the one to betray Him, offering him an opportunity to change his heart’s actions?

I believe there comes and opportunity to do something for Jesus that is out of our character as a whole. We should not hesitate or worry about that action, caring what others might think for we are doing it for him and no one else. Other’s human reactions should not stop or force us not to accomplish that which our heart tells us to do.

I recall an event when a lady stated to me that she was proud of her husband who was a pastor, stating that he never entered a beer joint. My reaction was that perhaps he should have. She let me have it with both barrels!

I said, “I beg your pardon. You were right. Perhaps if he had entered that den of iniquity he might have yielded to that temptation.”

She abruptly turned her back and silently walked away. I paused for a moment for silent prayer, saying, “Lord, I hope I did the right thing.”

Mary was willing to risk her reputation to serve the Lord. Best giving is an act of faith when it is done for our Lord. All of us need to get out of our comfort zone from time to time as we faithfully serve the Lord.

I am sure that Jesus did this quite frequently to remain faithful to His heavenly Father’s will, especially at His crucifixion and death on the cross. May we each do likewise as his faithful followers. Let us pray.