“Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.” Matthew 26:6-7 (NLT)
We see a stark contrast between different ways of how two people at one point in their lives followed Jesus. We see the betrayal of Judas and we see the devotion of Mary, the woman who had the perfume in the verse above. Matthew writes a few verses after the scene in which Jesus is anointed, that Judas received 30 pieces of silver as payment to turn Jesus over to the chief priests. 30 pieces of silver during that time was about the price you would expect to pay for a slave.
Then we see Mary enter the scene where Jesus and some of his best friends are enjoying time together and she begins to pour this perfume out, which no doubt cost her a lot of time and money to aquire and was close to her. I have always thought that this was an example of Mary literally pouring out the way of her old life on Jesus, effectively devoting herself to complete surrender to Him.
It has been said that Mary was a “woman of the night” as the Bible sometimes calls it. Let’s just say she was well aquainted with a lot of the men from her town. Anyway, the perfume that she had would’ve most likely been used in her preparations to sell herself to some man that would use her sexually.
During the time she had spent with Jesus, she had come to the realization that she could be herself around Him without sensing judgement. I think this is what prompted her to repurpose this fine perfume and prepare the Son of Man for the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. In the end she, in a sense, sold herself to a man. But this man was no ordinary man. He would touch and heal, peak and bring peace, and love unconditionally. He was God with flesh on. He would meet those who came to him exactly where they were and He still does that today.
Devote yourself fully to Jesus. You will mess up. You will sell Him for 30 pieces of silver. But He still loves you and His love is worth it.
Lord, there have been so many times in which I have treated you like 30 pieces of silver and even less. Would you accept my offering of perfume poured out in your presense? Strengthen your slave to be fully devoted and fully in love with you. I am the one you love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.