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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

The Odor Filled the House

Today’s Verse:

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


Have you ever gone to someone’s home, and as soon as you approached the front door, you smelled the delicious aroma of food being prepared? There is something very appealing to our senses when we smell the aroma of food being cooked. The same can be said about the wonderful fragrance that freshly-cut flowers give off in a home. This morning, we read how the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.

We see the perfume.

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly…” The ointment that Mary used was of the more expensive variety. It was spikenard from the mountains of India. This was costly spikenard. One pound of this was the equivalent of one year’s salary. Its original, intended use was for the anointing of someone who was dead. Mary purposed, instead, to apply it on Someone Who was alive. This perfume represented the best she had to offer. There was no second thought or regrets. Are you willing to give that which is very costly?

We see the person.

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus…” Mary wanted a way to demonstrate her love for the Lord Jesus. After Jesus raised her brother from the dead, there was no question in her heart about the fact that Jesus was God incarnate. She realized how personal her relationship was to the Lord Jesus, and the short duration that she had to express her love for Him. She poured this ointment out and covered His feet and body with it. Think about this: Mary poured what was equivalent to one year’s wages on Jesus! Is Jesus so precious to you that you would spare no cost in showing publicly how much you love Him?

We see the permeation.

“The house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” Once that ointment came out of the alabaster box, the sweet fragrance permeated every inch of that room. It could have been that the powerful fragrance lingered even on the clothing of the dinner attendants. What a powerful illustration as to how our worship and sacrifice to Jesus should be like. The expression of our love for Christ should be a sweet-smelling fragrance to everyone close by. Does your love for the Lord leave a sweet impression on other people? Is the Lord blessed by how you exhibit your love?

We see the protest.

“Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” Judas was upset that Mary poured out this ointment on Jesus. As far as he was concerned, the costly ointment was wasted on Jesus! When you demonstrate your love and commitment to Jesus, expect to be criticized and slandered. Expect some people to vilify you for giving so much money or something so costly. In spite of that moment of protest, Jesus stood for Mary and told Judas and the other disciples to leave her alone. When people are against your expression of love for the Lord, be assured of the Lord’s favor and defense on your behalf.

We see the principles.

First, we should give our all and our best for Jesus. Second, our giving and sacrifices touch many lives beyond our own. Third, our action is a demonstration of the power of the gospel in changing lives and leaving a lasting influence in our world.

Have a permeating God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Psalm 32-35

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