Leave her alone ...

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at the table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, "Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."

Generosity will never make sense to bean counters. An act of love or kindness will never be seen on a ledger or balance sheet. Mary's act will always look foolish in the moment. Generosity can be so challenging at times. I received bad service at a restaurant this week and the temptation was to take it out on the waiter. Thankfully I was reminded that generosity is needed most in times like those and grace is always unmerited.

This image of Mary's generosity is so moving. I can see her coming into the room and seeing the one who brought he brother back to life. I can sense the wave of emotion that came over her as she walked towards Jesus with that pound of nard in her hands. The fragrance of her generosity fills my nostrils and I am inspired again to live generously. For I was once dead and am now alive. The new life I have in Him compels me to be generous.

Lord, help my life to be filled with the generosity of the Holy Spirit.

1 comment:

  1. Mary of Bethany has always seemed to be a antidote to the viewpoint so common in the present day that sees only the obviously practical and misses the deeper spiritual issues involved. She listened at Jesus' feet and engaged in this extravagant act of worship. She saw that loving Christ was the important thing rather than just getting things done.


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