Mary Anoints Jesus

John 12:1-8 

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany

The contrast between Mary and Judas could not be bolder. Mary reclines at Jesus’ feet in adoring love, offering extravagant devotion—anointing him for his burial. Judas sits in condescending arrogance, not only questioning Mary’s action but judging Jesus’ willing acceptance of such a gift. One is a worshiper; one is a thief. One gives sacrificial honor; the other seeks personal gain (Matt. 26:15). One demonstrates the way of grace; the other, the way of sin.

This story should remind us of a similar scene recorded in Luke’s Gospel, where an unnamed sinful woman washes Jesus’ feet with her tears, while Simon, a self-righteous Pharisee, “murders” Jesus in his heart (Luke 7:36–50). Those who have been forgiven much love much. Those who are greedy for much are greedy for more.

*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.