Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man
who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster
jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and
poured the perfume over his head.
4 Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such
expensive perfume?” they asked. 5 “It could have been sold for a year’s wages
and the money given to the poor!” So they scolded her harshly.
6 But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for
doing such a good thing to me? 7 You will always have the poor among you, and
you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me. 8 She
has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time. 9 I
tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world,
this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” (Mark 14:3-9 NLT)
I was just thinking of this woman, Mary of Bethany. Imagining what it would have been like for
her…thinking of how she might have been at her home praying when the Holy
Spirit urged her to get up, get her jar of oil, go to where Jesus was and pour
the oil over his head.
I’m not sure about all the customs and procedures of
Biblical times, but what I’ve read, has told me that women did not have the
equality and freedoms we have today. I imagine it took a lot of courage to step
out and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. She knew what she was doing was going to be unorthodox;
people might talk about her being inappropriate, maybe even a little crazy, going
against customs and stepping out where the world thought she didn’t belong.
I’m not sure if Mary had a husband or if she was wealthy.
According to the scripture, this alabaster of oil was worth a year’s wages. So
this oil had an extremely large monetary value and using it in this way, was a major
financial sacrifice. I’m sure if she had
hesitated and maybe asked a friend for advice they would have discouraged her and
told her not to do that, maybe they would have tried to convince her that
someone more ‘special’ might have that calling, that she didn’t need that
This is what I’ve learned from Mary: not only did she hear
the message God had for her,
, and obeyed
. She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, she knew
it was going to take a lot of courage, but she stepped out in faith and
followed God. I see Mary’s
courageousness, faithfulness, and sacrifice – and I want that boldness and
I now believe I have been called to step out in faith and I know I will face obstacles,
I will be unpopular, and I will lose 'friends' and family - but none of that matters – the only
thing that matters is to hear my Jesus tell me one day, ‘Well done, good
and faithful servant’.
*I wrote this blog
entry in less than hour on Friday Sept 7th, for some reason I
thought I should hold off on publishing it. I think I know why now; Sunday my
Pastor spoke on Luke 7:36-50 – the sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her
tears and anointed him with her alabaster of oil. I know the Holy Spirit speaks
to all the Believers as one, and it seems most of my devotions and the messages
I’ve listened to have been of one accord and this strengthens and encourages me
greatly!! So I was able to change up the
last paragraph and claim what GOD has for me!!