Day 4: A Broken Bottle and Burial Prep

Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head. Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked. “It could have been sold for a year’s wages and the money given to the poor!” So they scolded her harshly. But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? -Mark 14:3-6

Earlier in this week Jesus’ days were busy, filled with ministry and confrontation in the public eye and drawing Him closer to His inevitable death. On this day however, Jesus and His disciples had gone to the home of a man in Bethany known as Simon the leper. While eating together, Mary of Bethany, Lazarus’ sister, came to Jesus with an alabaster flask of expensive perfume. This perfume was worth a whole year’s wages, and Mary had been saving it for this moment.

She poured the perfume on Jesus’ head and feet, breaking open the flask to do so. Mary intentionally and purposefully gave Jesus everything she had. By offering her most valuable possessions, Mary showed that she understood Jesus was about to give Himself completely for her. The disciples, however, reacted differently. They saw the value of the perfume and thought Mary was wasting it. They pretended to be concerned about helping the poor, saying the perfume could have been sold and the money given to them. But Jesus saw things differently. He defended Mary’s actions, calling them beautiful.

Mary poured out one of her most prized possessions as an act of worship; nothing else mattered.

Put Yourself in the Story

Consider areas in your life where you may be holding back from fully surrendering to Jesus. Are there things you’re hesitant to give up or areas where you struggle to trust Him completely?

Take some time to pray and ask God to reveal any areas of your life where He is asking you to surrender more fully to Him. Be open to His leading and guidance.

Commit to following Mary’s example of wholehearted devotion and worship. Look for opportunities to sacrificially give of yourself in service to Jesus and others, trusting that He sees the beauty in your actions.