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Holy Wednesday is the 4th day of the Christian Holy Week. Wednesday marks the day that two people made to very different choices concerning Jesus. One of those people is Judas, who is remembered as the betrayer of Jesus to His captors. His perspective and view on life was driven by the worship of money over the Lord. This path of putting an earthly treasure above His relationship with Jesus eventually led to his own suicide.
In contrast to Judas, is Mary who we find in John 12:1-3 pouring a pine of pure nard, (perfume valued at the amount of a year’s wages), on the feet of Jesus . While Judas is disgusted with the wastefulness and extravagance of this act, Jesus notes that her lavish and extravagant act of worship is a preparation and anointing for his burial. vs.7 While Judas is sitting there counting dollars lost, Mary is at the feet of Jesus and worshiping lavishly.
Choosing your best to give to Jesus as your worship.
Are you going “over the top” in your worship, or are you withholding?
In John 12:1-3, Jesus is having dinner at Mary and Martha’s house. Their brother Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead is at this meal. All of His disciples are at this meal as well. Somewhere during this meal, Mary feels led to give to Jesus something that was extravagant and lavish. Her most costly gift that she could give.
1 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus – the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
This is a beautiful image of worship. Here is a woman who has received from God more than she could ever repay, has gone “over the top” and “lost her mind” in worship. There is no restraint, no questioning, no reasoning within herself of what she could put together that would be acceptable. She has taken her most prized possession, her most costly gift, and set out with one mission – to offer thanks for all that Jesus has done for her.
Some may say that the raising of her brother Lazarus from the dead would be motive enough for going “over the top” with the pouring out of the perfume. However, wiping His feet with her hair? A woman’s hair is her crowning glory. (1 Cor. 11:15) To use hear hair as a mop or a washrag shows that in humility there is nothing worth more to her that her relationship with Jesus.
Mary’s example is one that causes us to reflect on our relationship with Jesus. What do we have in our lives that would be “over the top” if we gave it as an act of worship? What gift in our life, actions, possessions, or speech, would be beyond belief of those around us? What type of gift, even if it made us look foolish, would be the type of gift that goes beyond what is easy and takes great faith to offer?
Holy Wednesday Prayer
Lord, it is my desire to be a person who is known, not as one who withholds worship, but rather as one who gives you my very best in worship. I want to be the one who responds in thanks with a freedom and abandon in my heart. Teach me to walk in the type of intimacy with you that Mary had.
Holy Wednesday Reflection
Has there been a moment of worship in your past where you can honestly say that you gave God everything you had to offer without holding anything back? What type of worship would be “over the top” for you and are you willing to give it?