April 14, 2014

Extravagant Love

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. ~John 12:1-3
If there's a woman in scripture I'm jealous of it would be Mary, because she gets it. Like she genuinely, with her whole heart gets Jesus. Even more than Christ's band of brothers, the disciples, ironically enough.

At this time in history only four people were anointed: kings, prophets, priests, and the deceased. And how perfectly did Christ fit all of these? He is the King of Kings, our great High Priest, THE prophet, and the shadow of the cross, of His coming death is casting itself at this dinner party to honor Jesus. And Mary knows this.

There's something about this moment though for our girl Mary here. It's here that she is so overcome by her love for Christ, her Savior, that she takes the most extravagant, costly, valuable thing she owns, breaks it before Jesus feet, and pours it all out upon Him. A significant, tangible way to express this generous, precious kind of love for Him. This was the love He'd shown her, which beget the same love from her to Him. Love begets what it sows. None of that oil would be left when she was finished, because true love gives it all to the recipient.

To the onlookers this was a ridiculous display of oneself. For Judas it was impractical, illogical, and wasteful. But God's view of what is practical and logical is always seemingly different than our own. And nothing, nothing poured out for Christ goes to waste. It was ridiculous by all Jewish traditional accounts, for this was an act only servant preformed. And it most certainly would've been seen as inappropriate at this time, because only promiscuous women would've let their hair down. It's an uncomfortable scene for these onlookers because of it's sensual undertone really. (Perhaps there's a great deal to be said here in regards to feminine sensuality... but I'll save that for another time.)

Two things: Jesus wasn't uncomfortable with this extravagant, truly female and emotional, act of worship on Mary's part. In fact he says that it is wonderful. And Mary, so secure in her love and acceptance in Christ, no longer cares what the cost is or what others may think or say about her. She's free in her love for Jesus. 

During this passion week I want to reflect and think on how I can be more extravagant in my love for Christ, as he has been above and beyond extravagant in his love for me. And in turn how am I showcasing that to others? With fear with what onlookers may think? Or in abandoned freedom? Maybe you'll join me in asking the same questions.
I want to be more of a person that would do things that are inappropriate to other people for the sake of it being appropriate to Jesus. ~Amena Brown Owen

5 comments :

  1. This post was so nice to read! I really enjoyed it :) that quote can be applied to so many aspects of Christian life.

    ashley-ashstash.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Ashley! Glad you stopped by today =)

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  2. This is one of my favorite passages and you've done so well expressing what's so meaningful about it. I would love to be more like Mary in my life. :) An image to keep in my mind.

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    1. Mmmhmm. I pray we all become more like her.

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  3. "And Mary, so secure in her love and acceptance in Christ, no longer cares what the cost is or what others may think or say about her. She's free in her love for Jesus."

    Like Mary, I want to daily experience this.

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