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Seeds of the Kingdom

An act of Worship

by Liz Griffin

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.
John 12:3, ESV

What an amazing thing for Mary to do! She lavished the most expensive ointment upon the feet of Jesus and even wiped his feet with her hair. In John’s Gospel we learnt that Mary’s brother Lazarus had been raised from the dead after being in the grave for 3 days. Such an act pointed to the real identity of Jesus. He was truly the Messiah and Mary, more than most, was fully aware of this.

It was the job of the High Priest to recognise the Messiah when He came and to anoint Him. Mary boldly did this for Jesus. I wonder if she bought the ointment especially for Jesus. No doubt she had used just such an ointment for Lazarus when he died. It’s obvious that she was a rich person who could afford such a luxury.

Luke’s gospel tells us that one day Mary wanted to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him teach while her sister was preparing food in the kitchen (Luke 10:39). It was an unusual thing for a woman to do. Only disciples sat at the Master’s feet like that. Jesus had affirmed that she did the right thing then and He affirmed again that she was doing the right thing here.

Her heart was overflowing with love and worship for Jesus and nothing was too good for her to give Him. Freely she had received and freely she gave. I think she had listened so carefully to every word that Jesus had said and she knew He was going to be put to death in Jerusalem. I believe she fully understood what was going on.

After Judas Iscariot had criticised her for wasting money Jesus defended her saying, ‘Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me’ (John 12:7-8).

Jesus accepted her generous act of love and worship and was grateful for the anointing ahead of the time when He would be buried. In fact she was the only one who managed to anoint Jesus for burial as the other women were too late on the glorious morning of the Resurrection.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, Just as Mary loved You so much she wanted to spend time being close to You may we also be able to do that too, to sit at Your feet and enjoy resting in You. Just as she lavished expensive ointment on You as an act of love and worship, not even caring whether others disapproved, may we also be able to fully worship You and show our love to You. Amen.

Liz Griffin lived for 20 years as an expatriate in South Africa, Bahrain and Japan, as her husband Paul worked for an international oil company. Paul and Liz became involved with Ellel Ministries in 1991 as part of the ministry team and joined the full-time team at Ellel Grange in 1995. Paul and Liz teach and minister to those seeking healing in their lives and together have written two books, 'Anger - How Do You Handle It' and 'Hope and Healing For The Abused'.


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