Pastor Dave’s DEVO for this Week:
While we are in Virginia we can’t participate directly with our LifeGroup in Vermont. However, I can pass along my DEVO for this week. This is something we discussed during our family quiet time last night and I continued to ponder today.
Mary therefore took a pound of VERY COSTLY perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and THE HOUSE WAS FILLED WITH THE FRAGRANCE of the perfume.
John 12:3 (NASB77)
Setting the stage
Jesus has come back to Bethany, to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. This was a place where He often went, and He found a home in a life of homelessness. These were His friends, His family, and they had seen the power and love of Christ engaged in their lives. Lazarus, who had been four days in the grave, was seated at the table. It was a powerful and moving moment, and it was about to get even bigger, better, more profound.
Mary enters the room with a bottle of perfume. Not just any perfume, an extremely expensive perfume. In fact, some describe the cost of such a bottle as being the equivalent of nearly eleven months wages for a middle class worker. I have bought nice perfume before, but never at such an extravagant cost.
We aren’t told how Mary came by this bottle of perfume. We might speculate that she inherited it as a family heirloom. Perhaps it was given as payment for something. Regardless of the source, she knew the value. Her actions tell us, however, that the thing she prized most above all other things was the presence and person of the Lord Jesus.
A Challenging Question
Would I be willing to pay the price of this kind of love and devotion? What do I value most of all in my life? Is my family my greatest prize? Do I place my beloved bride above everything and everyone else? Most would commend me for such great love. Then I remember what I’ve been given in Christ. Is there anything or anyone that can take His place in the center of my heart? Any that I value or prize more than Him? Mary demonstrated a profound love for Jesus, one that she clearly placed above everything else. Why? Because she realized that everything—a brother brought back from the grave…life brought back from the shadows…love brought through heartbreak—is given to her through Christ.
I pray that my love for the Lord would overflow. That it would be visible, tangible, and even costly. I pray that people would be impacted by that love as those in the room were by the fragrance. I pray that I would love even though some might criticize or condemn. I pray that my love for the Lord Jesus would be profound and extravagant, and would eclipse my love for everything and everyone else, because I realize that in placing my love in Him to such a degree will enable me to love those others with even greater passion and depth.