Mar23MonMarch 23, 2020
JOURNEY TO THE CROSS - DAY 1
Scripture: John 12:1-8 (ESV)
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 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. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 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. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
A Precious Moment
After three years of ministry, every Jew who was paying attention had heard about Jesus. Some were bothered by his rejection of traditional purity laws, established and enforced by the Sanhedrin. Some were curious about his ability to heal the sick, cast out demons and perform other legendary miracles. Everyone was amazed at the wisdom and authority that poured from his lips.
The crowd around Jesus had grown as he entered the metropolis region of Jericho and turned towards the town of Bethany. (After all, this was the man who had brought Lazarus back from the dead last year!) But this evening, Jesus was ready to settle down for a warm meal with his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Giving travelers a cleansing bath for their feet was customary in the Jewish culture. But, the disciples, especially Judas, were dumfounded as Mary used expensive ointment (not water) and her hair (not a towel) to show her hospitable love for the Rabbi.
As the fragrance filled the room, Jesus reminded his followers, once again, that death was coming for him soon. The disciples heard, but missed, this lesson from the Teacher. Mary seemly understood the Lord’s mission and wasn’t shy in showing her love for him as He prepared to journey toward the cross.
May our daily affection for Jesus, now our resurrected Lord, mirror this precious moment in Bethany! Amen