SCRIPTURE: Mark 14:3 (TM)
Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper. While he was eating dinner, a woman came up carrying a bottle of very expensive perfume. Opening the bottle, she poured it on his head.
William Gladstone, in announcing the death of Princess Alice to the House of Commons, told a touching story. The little daughter of the Princess was seriously ill with diphtheria. The doctors told the princess not to kiss her little daughter and endanger her life by breathing the child's breath. Once when the child was struggling to breathe, the mother, forgetting herself entirely, took the little one into her arms to keep her from choking to death. Rasping and struggling for her life, the child said, "Momma, kiss me!" Without thinking of herself the mother tenderly kissed her daughter. She got diphtheria and some days thereafter she went to be forever with the Lord. Real love forgets self. Real love knows no danger. Real love doesn't count the cost. The Bible says, "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it."
Mary didn’t count the cost. She couldn’t do enough for Jesus. What was the cost of the perfume in comparison to what he had done for her? Jesus had loved her unlike any man that she had ever allowed to enter her life. His love was free and non-judgmental. His love lifted her up and made her whole. His love was extravagant and so now was hers toward him.
Too many of us go through life feeling that we are unlovable. Maybe we haven’t measured up to others expectations. Maybe they have judged us without knowing all the facts. Maybe they have pushed us aside thinking little of their actions. Maybe they expressed a strong opinion with little regard for our feelings. Just little things, but over time they have mounted up and we end up seeing ourselves a little less than God sees us. It is at these times that we should remember Mary and what Jesus did for her simply by loving her for herself … not for what she could do for him, but simply because she was deserving of genuine love.
Mary poured the expensive perfume … over his head … over his shoulder … down his back … the fragrance filled the room. Whatever was laid out on the table for the meal that evening was soon forgotten. Such love, such extravagant love. The people looked on in wonder. Didn’t he know the type of woman who was touching him … washing his feet with her hair … kneeling in his presence? Oh, he knew her. He knew her heart. He felt her rejection. He experienced her pain. He knew her heart … and that is all he needed to know. His love for this precious creation of his father was extravagant.
And it is the very same love that he shows to the likes of you and me!
Thank you for your extravagant love shown towards us, eternal Lord. We are not worthy, but that is the point of extravagant love and we are healed of our inner turmoil. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.