“Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”John 12:3
Studies show us that smell is the most linked of all the senses to our memories. Can you get a whiff of something and instantly be transported back in time? One of my memories from childhood is waking up to the smell of coffee brewing. Both of my parents were, and still are, coffee lovers. What I saw each morning when I would go downstairs to the kitchen was my dad, sitting in his chair, sipping coffee while he spent time with Jesus with his Bible and journals.
The smell of coffee and the aroma of Jesus are forever linked in my memories. I am fortunate that I was blessed with an earthly father who modeled daily how to have an extravagant relationship with Jesus.
Although there are many things that strike me as important as I read John 12, a phrase in verse 3 stands out the most: “…and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” Out of total devotion to Jesus, Mary selflessly opened this bottle of nard worth almost an entire year of wages and poured the perfume onto Jesus’ feet. Unfortunately, if I’m honest, my budget-minded, mother-of-seven-children self would not give that extravagant of a gift to Jesus.
Mary had no way of knowing that Jesus would be facing the Garden of Gethsemane, betrayal, crucifixion, and death in only a matter of days. She did not know how her sacrifice would impact us over two thousand years later as we read this story in Scripture. Mary only knew that her love for Jesus was worth more than her greatest possession, and she chose to express that love at that very moment. I believe this story about Mary is included in the Bible because God wants us to love Jesus as Mary did and to give off the aroma of that love to those around us. I cannot show this type of love if I do not allow Jesus to overwhelm me every day!
I want to spend time daily soaking in the aroma of Jesus. I want to recognize my absolute unworthiness and rejoice at His radical forgiveness. And when others are around me, I want my aroma to point them to Jesus, don’t you?