This is a story of extravagance, of a woman named Mary who dumped very expensive perfume on someone’s dirty feet and then promptly wiped it off. You might call this action absurd, wasteful, or outrageous. Jesus, however, calls it discipleship.
To understand why Mary was extravagant, look back to chapter 11. Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, died, and then was resuscitated by Jesus. As a way of thanking Jesus, the family had a party for him. Martha showed her gratitude to Jesus by bustling around the house getting the meal ready, while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. The question Mary must have asked herself was: my sister Martha has such an obvious way to express gratitude. She’s a fabulous cook. But that’s not me. What can I do to show gratitude for having Lazarus back safe and sound?
- John 12:1 - 8