March 30, 2010

The Fragrance of Forgiveness

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. (John 12:3)

I love the story of the woman who pours perfume on Jesus' feet. There are a couple different versions, and this is certainly one of the shortest, but what I love is the second sentence: And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Do you think Mary was able to hide what she did? Not if everyone could suddenly smell this excellent perfume. They would have all come to see what was going on. This woman, whether she had realized it or not, was going to be in the middle of a crowd as she wept and wiped Jesus' feet clean with her hair.

And you know what? She didn't care. Her focus was solely on Jesus. I think that we can take a lesson from this. If we keep our focus on Jesus, even if we have to fall at His feet and confess our sins--even if we have to do it in public--we will be forgiven, just like she was. Isn't that the important thing, that we seek God's mercy and grace over the acceptance of the world, even of our friends and family?

One last thought, as Mary did this thing, the fragrance filled the house. This was the holy fragrance of human submission and God's forgiveness. She became a light to others by her selfless actions. She did not care what people thought as she worshipped Christ, and so her story earned a place in the Bible, so that generations would read about it. The fragrance continues today as you read it, and it continues as we each fall at the feet of Jesus to praise Him and seek His forgiveness for our sins. Let us do so.

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