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Mary Got It!

Briefing: We live in a culture where we have more material possessions than we can keep track of. Imagine trading everything you have for one ultimate possession.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 12:1-3.

On the Street: Chapter twelve starts out with Jesus being invited to the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. He is the guest of honor. Once the dinner is underway, one of the hosts, Mary, performs an act that had probably been planned since preparations for this special occasion was thought of. This act was a big part of the theme of the celebration.

Jesus was invited to this dinner to celebrate His miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. The family wanted to show Jesus their appreciation. After the meal, Mary was to perform one of the most honoring acts of worship recorded in the Bible. Once the dinner was over, she would walk in front of Jesus and wash His feet with expensive perfume. Some theologians and scholars believe the cost of this perfume, a pint of pure nard, would have been worth a year’s wages. It is also believed the perfume was Mary’s wedding dowry. It would have been something she had saved for and looked forward to using for years. This was an incredibly significant event in Mary’s life.

This would be a night that no one would ever forget. The planning and preparation that went into this dinner was to the level of a “once in a lifetime” event.

Jesus has spent all of His time teaching and trying to get us to understand how He and the Father expect us to act and live. Mary’s act of unselfish love will later be spoken of in Revelation. She performs an act that is only seen by the 24 elders surrounding the throne of God. I don’t believe any person on earth had considered an act so personal, so unselfish, so worshipful and understanding of who Jesus was.

1. Mary takes the position of a servant and that is how He expects us to act toward each other. Jesus will later give the disciples this example of washing each other’s feet (John 13:1-11). We are to serve each other but we are to worship God. This is absolute worship.

2. She gives the greatest of her earthly possessions with no thought of reimbursement or reward; it is an act of giving like Jesus understood. He explains (Matthew 18:1-4) that we need to learn to accept a gift without counting the cost, but the other side of the coin is giving a gift without expecting to get something in return.

3. This expensive perfume was her future. It was part of getting a husband, having a family and children; it was her future. She understands there is no future or hope without Christ. This was her firstfruits, her best. God tells us to give our firstfruits (Exodus 23:19). Jesus does the same for us (1 Corinthians 15:20).

4. Timelines no longer mattered. Mary was not concerned with how this would affect her future. She was in the moment of worship, trusting God. See the flowers of the field (Matthew 6:28-34)

5. In Revelation 4:10, we see the twenty-four leaders fall down before God and worship Him. They show their worship by casting their crowns at Jesus’ feet in total submission and humiliation. Mary somehow understands this act of worship. She gets it!

How do we know she “gets it”? Look at how Jesus responds. In Matthew 26:13 Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Investigational Resources: The scriptures that are referenced in the five listed points are: John 13:1-11, Matthew 18:1-14, Exodus 23:19, 1 Corinthians 15:20 and Revelation 4:10.

Officer Safety Principle: It is time to “get it” so you can give it.

from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!