Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus-the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor-he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” John 12:1-7 NLT
Did Mary feel misunderstood? Or was she so focused on Jesus that she didn’t worry about what anyone else thought? She didn’t try to explain herself. She knew that Jesus was her defender. She was preparing for Jesus’s burial. She knew that he wouldn’t be with them soon. She was very purposeful about what she did. How many times have I let the opinions of others get in the way of what He has called me to do?
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. “And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God.” Ezekiel 36:25-28 NLT
God gave the Israelites a new covenant that Jesus would ultimately fulfill.
Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels-a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” John 12: 23-27 NLT
Is my heart receptive toward him or hardened? Am I living in my old ways or new?
“Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly. Give me happiness, O Lord, for I give myself to you. O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help. Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord; hear my urgent cry. I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me.” Psalms 86:1-7 NLT
Thank you Father for restoring what was lost. For dying on the cross for my sins. For putting your spirit inside me. I pray that I would live by that power every day. Amen.
From the archives. Originally published November 6, 2018.