An Extravagant Sacrifice

Prompted by the Holy Spirit, Mary of Bethany enters this “boys club” dinner party. This is the same Mary who unashamedly sat at Jesus’ feet to hear His teachings. This was truly a woman who did not know “her place”. I wander if as she walks into the room if the men are confused. She has no serving tray in her hand, she is not clearing the dishes, she is not there to perform the typical task of a women in this situation.

Instead, Mary enters with an expensive, fragrant bottle of perfume. It is estimated, this perfume would have cost a year’s worth of wages. Perhaps, she was saving it to wear on her wedding night. Perhaps it was a family heirloom. We don’t know. But we do know, this woman in a prophetic act breaks the jar and anoints Jesus her Savior. In a second, she offered an extravagant sacrifice. She gave Jesus her very best. She had no regard for the sentimentality of this gift, no regard for her future. Her only consideration was that He deserved her all. He alone was worthy of this extravagant sacrifice.

Others were offended by her extravagance. It was at this moment Judas made the final decision to betray Jesus. But while others were offended and dismayed, Jesus was pleased.

What is the Holy Spirit prompting you to sacrifice? Your time, your money, your job, your security? What extravagant sacrifice is He calling you to make. Yes, others maybe offended. They may not understand. But as you step out in faith, Jesus will be pleased. He will cheer you on. He will receive and acknowledge your sacrifice. It will be fragrant aroma that fills His throne room.

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. (‭Mark‬ ‭14‬:‭3-5, 10‬ NIV)