Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
Food For Thought:
The thing that stands out to me in this passage of Scripture is Mary’s extravagant hospitality to Jesus. Think of a time in your life when you have experienced extravagant hospitality. How did it feel? Think of a time in your life when you have sought to extend extravagant hospitality. How did it feel to be the one who was giving instead of receiving?
Eternal God, rock and refuge:
with roots grown old in the earth,
river beds run dry,
and flowers withered in the field,
we wait for revival and release.
Abide with us
until we come alive
in the sunrise of your glory. Amen.
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