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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

One Pound of Ointment

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. ~John 12:3


Our devotion this morning is about one of the most spectacular sacrifices recorded in the Bible. It speaks to us about the act of Mary when she came to a dinner that Jesus was a guest at and poured the ointment from an alabaster box upon him. After all of the ointment was poured out, we are told that the odor of the ointment filled the entire house. We want to consider how powerful our sacrifices can be in the lives of other people.

We see the insight in the sacrifice.

Mary was very thankful that her brother Lazarus had been raised back to life by Jesus. She knew that what had occurred was a miracle. She considered the fact that she had an alabaster box of spikenard that was purchased for anointing the body of Lazarus. She did not want this box of ointment to sit unused. She wanted to show Jesus how appreciative she was that she got her brother back. In making this sacrifice, she was showing that she had good insight about her privileges and opportunities.

We see the immensity of the sacrifice.

This ointment in the alabaster box was equivalent in value to a year’s wages. It would take a common family a long time to save enough to purchase this spikenard from India. She broke open the box and poured the entire amount of ointment on the head of Jesus. Mary did not give a meager gift. She gave a gift of immense value. She made a sacrifice out of love and devotion to her Lord. As she poured it out, it pictured her heart being poured out in adoration of Jesus' holiness and power.

We see the impact in this sacrifice.

The odor of the ointment filled the entire house. It touched the smell, garments, and lives of everyone who was present. When we make a sacrifice like this, it powerfully touches the lives of many people. It demonstrates our love for the Lord. It leaves a lingering effect on others for a long time to come. When we make a sacrifice for Jesus, it is never in vain. It is a fulfillment of the promise that when we cast our bread upon the waters, it will return after many days.

We see the implication in this sacrifice.

Mary made a gift that would be spoken of as a memorial to her wherever the gospel would be preached. Wherever the gospel is preached, this act of Mary would be well-spoken of. Jesus described what Mary did as “she hath done what she could.” She made the most of her opportunity and left an incredible legacy and example for each of us to follow. In summary, Mary did what she could and is touching lives long after her death.

Are you someone who is ready to make a sacrifice that will touch other people's lives? One that tithes and participates in the special offering of your church? Does your giving leave a fresh and fragrant odor long after you’ve given it? Let’s take time today to evaluate our giving and if what we are doing touches lives like Mary did when she broke the alabaster box and poured the ointment upon the head of Jesus.

Have a blessed God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Chronicles 18-20

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