(John 12:3), "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment."
We have been looking at the subject of "what does your heart say about you" by looking at the family of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. The heart is often used as a metaphor to describe the true nature of a person.
(Matthew 15:19), “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
In our first lesson we looked at the heart of Lazarus and learned the heart of Lazarus reveals the Gospel because the death and resurrection of Lazarus from the dead in John 11 is a picture of the condition of all sinners before salvation and what happens in salvation.
In our second lesson we looked at the heart of Martha and learned the heart of Martha reveals a heart of good works because of her love for the Lord Jesus and her continuous service to Him.
In this lesson we are going to look at what the heart of Mary reveals.
- The Heart of Mary Reveals Gratitude
We read the story of Mary in John 12 after the resurrection of Lazarus, her brother from the dead in John 11. After Lazarus was raised from the dead, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, made the invited Jesus to their home for supper and the story of Mary begins with Lazarus, Jesus, and others sitting at the table.As they sat at the table Mary came and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair in an act of humility, worship, and gratitude for who Jesus was and what He had done in her family.
In Bible days, people did not sit at a table to eat their meals. The tables they used were low to the floor, and the people reclined around the table at meal time. Typically, their heads were near the table while their feet were farther away. This would mean that anyone walking up to a person in such a position would be considerably taller than the person at the table. This is why Mary would have had to kneel in order to anoint Jesus’ feet with the ointment.
In those days there were four classes of people who were anointed; Kings, Priests, Prophets, and the Dead. By her act of worship, Mary was acknowledging Jesus to be all of those things to her heart. And He is all of those things.
(Revelation 19:16), “He is King of Kings”
(Hebrews 3:1), “He is the Great High Priest”
(Matthew 13:31), “He is the Prophet”
(Revelation 1:18), “He was dead, but is alive forevermore.”
This is what Mary believed about Jesus and in this one moment of time, she demonstrated her surrender to Him as all those things by her act of love, worship, and gratitude. Mary was willing to do the work of a common slave for the Lord Jesus. Mary was willing to be seen in public with her hair down. This was a sign of an immoral woman. It appears that Mary was totally unselfconscious in her adoration and love of the Lord Jesus.
Mary expressed true humility and worship for the Lord Jesus because she didn't care what others thought. She didn’t care about their gasps, their stares or their ridicule! Not only has she surrendered her possessions, she had also surrendered her pride. Her primary focus was serving and honoring the Lord.
The question arises, “what about you? Are you as surrendered as Mary? Does the life you live reveal you kneeling before Him as absolute Lord and God? When Mary came to the feet of Jesus and gave her all; she had done all that she could do. When we get there, we can go no farther with Jesus. Just as Mary broke the box of ointment so that every drop might be extracted, we need to break our lives on His altar so that He might extract the very last drop of glory from us. We should be so grateful for all that He has done for us that we are totally uninhibited and unashamed in the expression of our love and worship for Jesus. After all, our love for Him is in direct response to His love us.
Mary broke that box of ointment and poured it on the feet of Jesus. This ointment was valued at 300 pence. A pence was the daily wage of the average worker. In modern terms, it would be worth fifteen to twenty thousand dollars! The lesson we learn here is, that, Mary gave everything she possessed to the Lord Jesus Christ in gratitude and worship. How about you? Have you given the Lord Jesus everything in response to what He has done for you in giving His life for your sins, saving your soul and giving you a home in heaven, and taking care of you as you journey through this life on you way to heaven?
Once Mary broke that box of ointment and washed the feet of Jesus and wiping them with her hair in humility, worship, and gratitude, the odor of the ointment filled the house and everyone who was there got to smell the sweet aroma of Mary's gratitude and worship to the Lord. True worship and gratitude are always sweet incense and odor to God and its fragrance cannot become a blessing to others around us. When was the last time you humbled yourself before the Lord and just worshipped, praised, and thanked Him for who He is and all that He has done for you without asking Him for anything? Why not do it now?
Pastor Allen Jackson