There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. Matthew 26:7-13
Mary was accused of being extravagant and wasteful, but she pleased the Lord.
As Mary is pouring out this perfume, and by the way, it’s in John 12, verses 1- 8, that let us know that the woman referred to by Matthew is Mary, in fact the sister of Martha.
John’s gospel spoke about his feet being anointed.
Mary poured it out over the head of the Lord Jesus, and it was such a lavish outpouring of the liquid that it not only was poured out over his head, but it splashed his whole body and his feet. John makes reference to the fact that the perfume also was upon her feet. John 12:3
But as Mary pours out this perfume, she is pouring out her heart. She is filled with genuine religious love and gratitude and devotion; and it entirely possible that she understands something about what Jesus is going to go through in the next few days, a degree or to better than the Lord Jesus’ disciples have understood it. And so her action is an act of devotion.
She was expressing gratitude to Jesus, giving her all, withholding nothing. That’s love. We should strive to show such love. I believe that kind of worship touches God’s heart. It is a beautiful example to us of unfettered devotion to Christ.
The disciples thought the ointment wasted…”What a waste!”…There will always be people who consider following Christ a waste.
Just as the alabaster jar was broken and the perfume poured out, so Jesus’ body was broken and his blood was poured out for the forgiveness of sins. As valuable as Mary’s perfume was, it cannot compare to the infinite value of the blood of Jesus.
One of the amazing things about this encounter between Mary and Jesus is the lingering reminder. As she wiped the perfume from His feet, she infused the perfume into her hair. As she left, the smell of that perfume went with her. I think that is such a beautiful picture of worship and its lingering effects. The fragrance of that moment of worship permeated the entire room.