Reflection on John 12
By Laura Day
Beginning in John, chapter 12, a feast is given in honor of Jesus in the home of Lazarus whom he raised from the dead. Lazarus’s sister, Mary, pours an extremely expensive bottle of perfume on Jesus’s feet washing them with her hair and tears. Judas complains the perfume could’ve been sold and the money given to the poor. Judas completely misses the point, but then again maybe we do as well.
The implements used to ceremonially clean Jesus’s feet are a costly perfume, a cultural expectation reserved for the burial of those who can afford such extravagances, and Mary’s hair, the religious and social standard of a “woman’s glory.” In one act of utter humility she has laid her wealth and her dignity at the feet of Lord Jesus in complete surrender and worship.
Mary has, without hesitation, completely discarded the cultural mores of wealth, propriety, self-respect and social conventions choosing instead to bow to the Christ, the Lamb of God who has come to take away the sin of the world!
I see her and examine myself more thoroughly wondering what, EXACTLY, am I willing to discard to know Jesus more fully? Social status? Cultural expectations? Pride? Comfort? A job opportunity? Facebook? My iPhone? My home? My 401K??
Pushing Jesus to the side rarely happens in a single motion. It’s the inch by inch transition that’s deadly. Recalibrating anything encroaching on Jesus as Lord is important. This Lenten season is the perfect opportunity.