“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.” – John 12:3 (NIV)
In the Bible, Mary of Magdalene was a prostitute who experienced the forgiveness and love of Jesus. Her life changed radically as soon as she became His follower. To show her gratitude, she went to the house where Jesus was having a feast arranged by His host.
There, as people were watching, Mary started to pour out a costly perfume on Jesus and begins to wash His feet with her tears.
As she was in the middle of worshipping Jesus in this unique way, others at the table started grumbling. They were asking why Mary had not sold that expensive perfume and given the money to help the poor.
We can see this type of attitude in our times too. For example, when another Christian brother or sister is ministering, we may feel like complaining, too. We might say, “Yes, she helps out with the children’s ministry, but she wears too much makeup and her skirts are too short” or “Who does he think he is to talk to people about God’s love with a past like that?”
It might be easy to criticize others when they don’t behave the way we expect they should, or they are not part of the same ministry. But the story of Mary clearly shows us that Jesus looks way beyond all of that and knows the heart and motive underneath. We know this because He said to the grumbling crows, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” (Matthew 26:10).
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for those who build your kingdom! Help me to be supportive when I see others serving You in a way that may be different or unexpected. Thank you for all your grace and mercy in my life.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.