Fragrance

One year a friend of ours came back from Egypt with a bottle of pure, undiluted perfume. I’ve never seen perfume so strong before. Unlike what I’m used to in the states, this perfume was so fragrant that it had a strong aroma without even opening it. Even kept in a closet, with the lid on it and never having been used, the fragrance filled the closet.

Fragrance can be so powerful, it’s almost as if you use all of your five senses to experience it. However, usually we keep fragrances at a tidy and polite low: just perceptible, faint upon the air, enough to touch the sense of smell and no more.

This isn’t what happened the day Mary anointed Jesus.

Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. (John 12:3, NLT)

The Bible tells us this perfume was a year’s wages (see verse 5). What Mary spilled out was not like an aromatic candle, puff of perfume, or mild air freshener. This would have been an explosion of fragrance, startling everyone at the dinner table. I think not one bite of food could further be taken without tasting only the perfume. The house became transformed into a palace of fragrance. No one could leave or enter without encountering the magnificence of the perfume.

All of this tells the story of what our devotion to Christ should be like. We should be so full of love for Him that no one can even step into our house without being overwhelmed by the fragrance of our love. No one should be able to eat with us and walk away without realizing our fervor for the King of Kings.

But there’s something to this story I have always overlooked, until today.

As she anointed Christ’s feet for the death He would experience, Mary’s hair became saturated in perfume.

Can you imagine Mary meeting any of her friends afterwards? Can you imagine her going to the marketplace? Everyone would have stopped to turn and look at her.

I can imagine them saying,

“Mary, what happened to you?  What is that fragrance about you?”

As Mary anointed Christ, and wiped His perfumed feet with her hair, she herself became a witness of fragrance. She set not only Christ apart for His burial, but she also set herself apart as His follower.

What an example for us to follow. Let us have Mary’s heart. Let us be so in worship of Christ that we exude His fragrance. As we worship Him, may our devotion be so costly and so extraordinarily unheard of that we draw the hearts of everyone around us to think of Him.

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Published in: on August 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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