Last Sunday, our pastor reminded me of one of my favorite stories in the New Testament.
It’s one of my favorites for many reasons, not the least of which is just how merciful and kind Jesus is seen to be in it.
Jesus was invited as a featured guest at a banquet in his honor by a Pharisee names Simon. At this point in Jesus’ ministry, he was a well known rabbi whose popularity was spreading amongst the people. Not so with the organized religious leaders, such as Simon.
In those days, you would greet a guest to your home with a welcoming kiss, water to wash off their dusty feet, and if you were well off, olive oil to add a pleasant fragrance to the atmosphere.
All four accounts* show that Jesus was greeted with none of these at this banquet, despite it being held in his honor. (*Luke 7:36-50, Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 11:1-8)
One attendee decided to take matters into her own hands. According to one version, this was Mary, sister of Martha & Lazarus, and this happened after Lazarus was raised to life again by Jesus (John 12:9).
She couldn’t let Jesus not be honored, so she cleansed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and anointed them with perfume.
She poured out her emotions as tears literally before and on Her Lord, used her physical glory to dry His feet, then used her earthly goods to anoint Him with fragrant perfume.
She gave all she had out of respect, love and thanksgiving to the One who accepted her as she was, met her at her darkest time of grief and restored her beloved brother to life again.
To say the crowd was shocked and/or outraged Is a given. Yet Jesus made sure to point out to everyone what this woman did in a way that showed He accepted her gift, forgave her her sins, and honored her in return.
Even before the cross, Jesus kept putting us first.
Don’t think you have anything worth giving such a King of Kings?
Give Him your all, and you will find, as Mary, that He will accept it, and return your gift beyond your imagination.