This chapter is filled with all kinds of good stuff. There is the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. There is great teaching about death and resurrection. Even some confrontation thrown in to keep things tense and interesting. Yet the account which grabs me most is when Mary, Lazarus and Martha's sister, anoints Jesus' feet. I think part of this capturing me is I am preaching from this text on Sunday. Even so, it is a great text.
Mary takes this perfume, we are told it is pure nard, and it has a value of a years wage. In other words not only is it expensive, it is probably the best things she has in her material world. The jar of perfume represents her security and back up plan in this world. If her brother had not been raised by Jesus, and no one else stepped forward to provide, Mary could have thought, at least I have this jar of perfume if I need to sell it. She gives that up and anoints Jesus. She realizes he only security is not in the greatness of the material, but in the greatness of Jesus. The result of what happens when Mary brings her best, and most valuable to Jesus, the house is filled with the fragrance of perfume.
I wonder what our houses smell like. Are we bringing our best to God, or are we giving God what is left over? This includes but is not limited to our finances. Is God getting the best and most valuable portion of our lives, or simply what we have left when we serve everything else? God longs for us to give our absolute best and most valuable, not because God needs it. No, because we need to rely on God more than ourselves and our stuff.
The disciples and others missed the point of the story, they thought it was about money and stuff. In reality it is about trusting God and bringing our very best and most valuable to God. Do we miss it too?