Lent | 3.24.12
John 12:1-11 provides us with a great example of one person’s very real, deep love for Jesus Christ and, in stark comparison, one apostle’s disingenuous objections to, in his mind, the extravagant use of expensive oil to wash Jesus’ feet.
Six days before Passover, Jesus dined at a home in Bethany, a place he loved and visited even though he was exposing himself to the danger of those who opposed him in nearby Jerusalem. He was surrounded by close friends that he loved and who adored him. Lazarus, who Jesus had raised from the dead, was there. Martha served him and Mary washed his feet with costly ointment, then loosed her hair and wiped his feet with it, an act that, in that day and place, would be considered immodest for a woman. The apostle Judas Iscariot, who was soon to gain his fame by betraying Jesus, feigned indignation with the use of such costly oil that he said could have been sold and the money given to the poor. The scriptures immediately tell us that he cared not for the poor, and would have taken the money for himself with the opportunity to do so.
As Easter Sunday and the period of Lent draw near, perhaps we can all take a hard look at the story and see where our faith is. As I think about my life, I am not nearly as close to Mary’s humble love of Jesus as I should be. Am I willing to expose that love in front of others without caring what anyone thinks? Am I willing to give away something of great value as basically a sacrifice to what God did for us by sending his Son to die for my sins? Am I too close to Judas, calculating the value of “things” before deciding what I can or can not do without?
When Mary worshipped Jesus by anointing his feet, John 12:3 says the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. It is easy to assume that it was filled as well with an atmosphere of spiritual love. When we see friends display sacrificial love for Jesus, it often inspires us to take a much more serious look at our relationship with our Savior and exposes the places where we fall short. This season, why don’t we remember Mary’s love and the Easter story to help us renew our love for and faith in Jesus?
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You can download the full Lent and Holy Week Devotional Guide at:http://www.belmont.edu/religion/files/lent-devotional-2012-final.pdf