Mar 20, 2017 08:48 PM EDT
John 12:1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
12:2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.
12:3 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.
12:4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,
12:5 "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages."
12:6 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.
12:7 "Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.
12:8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."
Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead. The Gospel of Mark recorded "While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper (Mark 14:3)." At that era, it was impossible to even imagine eating with the lepers, and they must be isolated. But it is a scene that he was healed and is eating together. This place is where Jesus revealed the amazing love which healed a leper.
His name is Simon. This is the name of the head of Jesus' disciples, Peter. The image of this leper, Simon, is the image of Jesus' disciples and also our image. We were the ones who have received the wonderful love of Jesus who has come to us who had an incurable illness that must be quarantined, and sacrificed and healed us.
At this place, Mary poured Jesus the most expensive perfume. Judas was angry at this time. This event became the decisive event for Judas to determine to sell Jesus. Another Gospel says that not only Judas but also other disciples were angry. However, Jesus praised this woman and said, "Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her." (Mark 14: 9)
This woman's act is love. The Gospel of Luke says "As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them." (Luke 7:38) She broke down and gave out all she has that she had gathered drop by drop every day, to the Lord. Love is unconditional. Love is giving out whole thing but worth it. She was so touched by the love of Jesus who embraced her who was a sinner, so even she tried to give her love back with all she can do.
However, the disciples who had always received the love of Jesus from near, could not see this love. They considered the woman's act as a waste and scolded her with an anger. When love becomes cold, we start to calculate and analyze. Those who fall in love become foolish. They do not count. Love is being foolish. God's love for us is so foolish. The love of Jesus, who gave us his life, seems reckless in the eyes of this world.
Is not there a figure in us who calculate and condemn the act of noble love with material value? But that reckless, foolishly love gives us true life. Like the precious woman, we shall respond to this love towards us who were like lepers.