At Jesus' Feet
In John 12, Mary, the sister of Martha, anointed Jesus' feet with costly oil and wiped them with her hair. When Judas hypocritically complained about the supposed waste, Jesus affirmed Mary. "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial" (v. 7). He was saying, "This is not a lavish or extravagant waste; this is a living prophecy."
It seems that Mary knew something that had escaped everybody else. She knew Jesus was going to die. That's noteworthy because even the disciples didn't get that, although Christ told them plainly on a couple of occasions. It completely went over their heads. But Mary understood it. The question is, how did she understand it when some others who were so close did not?
May I suggest a possibility? Where do we always find Mary each time she appears on the pages of the scripture? At the feet of Jesus. She was at His feet in Luke 10, listening to Him. She was at His feet in John 11, grieving at the loss of Lazarus. And here she is anointing His feet and wiping them with her hair. When you're at the feet of Jesus, and you observe, listen, and study everything He says, you will have a special connection where you understand His plan and His will.
You might say, "But Jesus is gone, physically. I can't sit at His feet today." But to sit at somebody's feet is a Hebrew idiom that means to learn from that person, to listen to the words, to be the disciple. When you make it your daily activity to read the Bible, study it, and take it all in, then you are sitting at Jesus' feet. You will learn His ways and His will.
Note also Jesus' rebuke to Judas: "For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always" (v. 8). Jesus was not endorsing apathy toward the poor; He was quoting scripture (see Deuteronomy 15:11). Here is the principle: There will always be opportunities for generous activity like helping the poor, but you must seize the opportunities for personal intimacy with God -- sitting at the feet of Jesus.
And one side note related to that costly oil: Mary knew Jesus was going to die, so she was showing Him her love. Likewise, we also have very unique opportunities only afforded us in this life. We've got to seize those opportunities while we're on this side of heaven. This is the time to give our finances to God's work, and to help struggling people get into heaven by sharing the gospel with them. So as you evaluate your life, what of value do you have that you can give to Christ now for His honor and glory?
Years ago, we used to sing this simple chorus: "If you want to know the power of God, get down at Jesus' feet. If you want to know the love of God, get down at Jesus' feet. If you want to know the truth of God, get down at Jesus' feet. Get down, sinner. Get down, saint. Get down at Jesus' feet." That's where we should all make our abode!
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