While Jesus was in Bethany eating dinner with Simon, Mary, Martha and His disciples, a woman came to pour very valuable perfume on him as an act of love and sacrifice. Though there are several thoughts as to her identity (the Gospel of Luke says that it was Mary herself) and why she owned such an expensive fragrance, I have often wondered if she had leprosy since she was living in a region that was, at least at one time, a leper colony. Perhaps she came from a rich family and her father gave her this fragrance to put on her sores so she wouldn’t smell as bad. Maybe she was a young woman and used just a little bit from time-to-time to make herself feel more attractive. Whatever the case, this perfume was worth tons of money — in today’s currency, it would sell for between forty and fifty thousand dollars! Nevertheless, she showed no hesitation in pouring the entire bottle out on Jesus’ head, an act of worship that was considered absolutely radical at the time, and to some, completely careless.
My friend, I encourage you to embrace the discomfort in this story. If the thought of pouring your most treasured possession at the feet of your Savior is frightening, remember that nothing offered to Him is wasted. Though it would have been easy for the woman to hold on to her perfume as the basis for a secure financial future or even to sell it for profit, her reckless abandon proved that she was completely “sold out” for her Rabbi. She was compelled to give Him everything she had because her faith told her that He was worth even more. Like this woman whose actions still inspire us today, don’t resist the Holy Spirit’s promptings to give with abandon when He tells you to. He is the One who fulfills everything in every way, and whatever you pour out lavishly for His sake will reap dividends far greater than their cost!