April 4 I Tuesday
“Then Mary took about half a litre of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped His feet with her hair.” —John 12:3
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John record a dinner being held in Jesus’s honour just days before His crucifixion. Jesus, along with His disciples, are reclining at the table when Mary, a friend of Jesus, comes in with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume. She poured the oil on Jesus’s head and feet, then wiped His feet with her hair and her tears. This was not ordinary perfume. Jesus said, “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of My burial” (John 12:7). Mary had indeed set it aside beforehand, which leads us to realize that unlike the disciples, she was expecting Jesus to die!
Jesus explained to His disciples on several occasions that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that He would be killed, and on the third day be raised to life again (Matthew 16:21). He could not have said it more explicitly than that, but none of His disciples believed Him. When Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane, they were totally thrown off guard and panicked, each scattering their own way before going into hiding. Only Mary knew in her heart this was actually going to happen.
A huge mistake we can make about Christian truth is that our understanding of it derives from how much we know. Spiritual truth does not derive from the depth of our knowledge, our level of intelligence or having Christian doctrine engrained in us. It derives from our disposition towards God. Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children” (Luke 10:21). Jesus is saying that it takes the trusting nature of a child who readily believes without prejudice, proof or persuasion for the things of God to be revealed.
The disciples were indignant of Mary’s action, seeing it as a total waste, but Mary had the trusting nature of a child, and demonstrated devotion and love for Christ. When she poured out the expensive oil on Jesus, she was not thinking of any kind of extravagant or sacrificial love, but it was simply a natural response from her heart. If our disposition towards Christ is intellectually cold and matter of fact, we will never grasp spiritual truth. We might be able to quote verses of Scripture or convey biblical facts, but we will be missing the real thing: a heart devoted to Christ that is at one with Him.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that spiritual truth settles into my heart out of an abiding love for You. I long to know You better, and ask for a deepening relationship. Thank You, Lord.