Have you ever sprayed too much air freshener in a room? You know enough to clear the room or make you gag on the stuff? Consider the passage below.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 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. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,
“Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
Many of us know who Mary, Martha and Lazarus if we have attended any amount of Sunday School in our lives. For those who haven’t, They are some of Jesus’ closest friends, probably from childhood. Lazarus is back from the dead. Yeah he died and was brought back to life by Jesus. Martha is the cook and the hostess and Mary can usually be found listening to Jesus or among the guests. The three of them are brother and sisters and live under the same roof.
As Jesus is making his way to Jerusalem, he undoubtedly stopped by Bethany, the town where these siblings lived. Mary goes grabs a bottle of nard and dumps it on Jesus’ feet and uses her hair to spread it.
Judas is right when he states that this should not be wasted and was worth a lot of money. It was expensive then, and still is now. It is also extremely potent and long-lasting. No doubt everyone knew the bottle was opened in a heartbeat.
Yet Jesus took this moment as a teaching moment. You will always have the poor, but you will not always have me.
I doubt any of them would believe just how soon this statement would come true.
Within the next week Jesus would be dead.
I wonder how long these statements lingered. That perfume used for burial would last a long time after the party, but I am sure that these words lasted a whole lot longer. The teachable moments that Jesus has lasted until this day.
Take today to find moments where you can impact others in what you believe. It can take a question from someone or an event or mistake that can last for a life time on someone.