Then Mary took a jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance.
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1 Samuel 29:1-31:13
Once I began to study and use essential oils, this scene come to life for me. I know how expensive quality oils are. I have a large collection now, but for those that are the most costly, I purchased the smallest bottle sold.
So to read that Mary took a pound of very costly oil — worth a year’s wage — and poured it out on the feet of Jesus, I understand the depth of her love and devotion to Him. This was an act of pure, selfless, extravagant adoration.
This is the same Mary who sat at His feet to learn, and the same Mary who fell at His feet when Lazarus died. And now she is throwing all modesty aside, loosening her hair (which women did not do in that culture), dropped again to His feet, and tended to them with her oil, her tears, and her unbound locks.
In that culture, a host would have a servant wash a guest’s feet, and then a small drop of fragrant oil would be dabbed on the guest’s head. So Mary’s gesture is saying that her offering —likely all the wealth she had in this world — is not even good enough for His head, but must go instead on His feet.
Oh, that we would have the abandoned love of Mary, and care not what those around us think; that we would take all our resources and use them for His glory; that our treasured place on this earth would be that sacred spot at His feet.