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Day Eighteen

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom
had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served,
while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 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.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why
wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s
wages.” 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.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for
the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not
always have me.” John 12:1-8
Gloria Gaither years ago wrote a song, “One day a plain village woman driven by love for
her Lord recklessly poured out a valuable essence. Disregarding the scorn and once it
was broken and spilled out a fragrance filled all the room. Like a prisoner released from
his shackles, like a spirit set free from the tomb. Broken and spilled out just for love of
you, Jesus. My most precious treasure lavished on thee. Broken and spilled out and
poured at your feet. In sweet abandon let me be spilled out and used up for thee.”

The sweet smell of love was Mary’s offering to Jesus. Martha served, while Mary sat at
the feet of Jesus. She was consumed by the Master. Her offering filled the house with
her sacrifice for Jesus. She had no idea that she was anointing Jesus for his ultimate
return from the dead. But the sweet smell of love was interrupted with the stench of
greed. Judas Iscariot objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to
the poor?” Judas had no interest in the poor. His only interest was himself. He wasn’t
focused on Jesus but on his own selfish interests. He couldn’t smell the fragrance that
consumed the whole house for the stench of his own selfish heart. Judas was so close to
the Master, yet so far away. Mary gave away everything only to receive the joy of being in
the presence of Jesus. Judas received a rebuke, while Mary received a reward.
Pray for joy this morning. Pray for the joy to be broken and spilled out for Jesus. Pray
for love this morning. Pray for your life to be driven by love for your Lord and Savior
this morning. Just imagine what God could do with those of us who would spend more
time at the feet of Jesus. I’m praying for God to increase your quiet times with Him. He
wants more, not less of us. Make it happen today.