When… Jesus was anointed
“Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for Him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with Jesus. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them, with her hair.” John:12:1-3
Pistikus was a plant whose fragrance was world renowned. It grew in the Himalayan mountains and so was quite expensive to import into Israel. This was the level of devotion Mary showed to Jesus. Talk about a generosity of spirit. Talk about a loving heart. When people have been so touched by the love and grace of God they often respond with an extravagant love and grace themselves.
Let’s remember, Mary’s brother Lazarus had received life from the hands of Jesus. Let’s remember her family had been restored to her. Her mourning had been transformed into such joy it could hardly be contained. So, Mary and Martha threw a party for Jesus out of their overwhelming thanksgiving. I am guessing it hardly seemed enough what they were doing for Jesus given what He had done for them. Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with this precious fragrance. I am sure that she would have done more if she could. Nothing was too much for Jesus. No devotion would have been too large, too much, over the top.
It’s interesting that the name of the plant is pistikus. This would can be translated “faithfulness.” The fragrance of Mary’s thanksgiving filling the room was faithfulness. The fragrance of faithful devotion is palpable. Blessed already is the one who knows the love and mercy of Jesus in their life. Mary would have done anything for Jesus. Her faithfulness is remembered as extravagant thanksgiving.
Jesus has given us life.