In John chapter 12, Jesus is having a meal in Bethany. Jesus was sitting at a table with Lazarus and others. Mary, Lazarus’ sister, took an expensive ointment and anointed Jesus’ feet. She used her own hair to wipe his feet. Her gesture was beautiful.
A bit of the back story tells us that Mary had much to be grateful for. Her brother Lazarus was miraculously raised from his grave. Jesus had returned her brother to her and during this meal, she took the opportunity to demonstrate her love, adoration and appreciation.
Judas and the disciples’ response to her gesture is revealing. The scripture tells us that the disciple’s said, “What a waste!” Matthew 26:8 NLT. Judas said, “That perfume was worth a year’s worth of wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor” John 12:5 NLT.
Have you ever been unjustly accused or criticized? If yes, then we can relate to Mary. She is immeasurably grateful. Her response to having her brother returned was to give what she had to give, to honor Jesus and to humble herself. Her response, her gesture was beautiful. And yet, others around her are criticizing her.
Many of us have been criticized or unjustly accused. But instead of putting focus on the accusers or the critical comments, I want to focus on and emphasize Jesus’ response!
In Matthew 26:10, Jesus says, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me?” NLT. Matthew 26:13 says, “I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” My favorite account is in John 12:7. He says, “Leave her alone…”
Anyone else make note of the origin of the attack? These weren’t strangers or outsiders. These attacks came from near by and from those that were followers of Jesus. I’m encouraged by this! We can use this as motivation to help us keep clear of the pitfalls of criticism at church, at home or in the workplace.
Interestingly, we never see Mary’s response to her accusers. The recorded responses come directly from Jesus on her behalf. What a beautiful picture. My prayer for us is that we would not allow criticisms and accusations to deter us from doing what Mary did. Demonstrating our love, showing our gratitude and adoration to a God who gave His only Son so that we could be free.