Welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us for this seven-week Bible study based on Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart. We’ll be studying the lives of seven incredible New Testament women. It’s the perfect way to journey through Lent together.
The Grateful Girl: Mary Anoints Jesus’ Feet
Read: John 12:1-8
It seems as if every time we meet Mary of Bethany, she’s at the feet of Jesus.
Two weeks ago, we met her sitting there, listening to his every word, and this week, we’ll find her not just sitting at his feet, but kneeling, as she takes his feet in her hands and anoints them. It’s one brave, bold, beautiful act for the man she loves and is soon to lose.
This beautiful story takes place in the home of Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary. Jesus’ days on earth are coming to an end, and Mary, watching and waiting in the wings as Jesus and his disciples gather for a meal, seems to sense that.
Hear the story of The Grateful Girl as I describe it for children in the pages of Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart.
Mary was worried. She knew something terrible was going to happen to Jesus. Everyone in Jerusalem knew it. You only had to shop in the marketplace or walk in the streets to hear the whispers and lies people were telling about him. Jesus had enemies. And one day soon, Mary knew that Jesus would die.
What could she do? What could Mary give to Jesus to show how much she loved him? And then, Mary saw it. The big, beautiful alabaster jar that was full of expensive perfume. She would give that to Jesus!
Mary peeped through the open door where Jesus sat at the table having dinner with his disciples. Carefully, she carried the jar and crept quietly into the room. Without a sound, she knelt on the floor and poured the perfume over Jesus’ feet. A wonderful scent rose in the air. It traveled over the table, curled around the curtains, and filled the room like a whisper of love.
“What are you doing? The men around the table cried. “That is expensive perfume! What a waste!”
But Jesus smiled at Mary, as she dried his feet with her hair. “Leave her alone,” Jesus said softly. “Mary has done a beautiful thing for me. What she has done today will always be remembered.”
In that moment, Mary’s worries disappeared. Her heart filled with a peace she had never known before. And even though the scent of the perfume would soon be gone, the peace that Jesus brought to her heart would last forever.
Mary had poured out her perfume. Jesus had poured out his peace.
Don’t you wish you could have been there in that room to witness that beautiful scene, to smell the scent of the perfume, to see the look of shock on the men’s faces, to hear Jesus as he rose to Mary’s defense, to feel the peace in his words?
Mary must have had no regrets. She risked her reputation, flung caution to the wind and was rewarded with the certain knowledge that what she had done for Jesus would always be remembered.
And it was.
God, who sent Jesus into this world to whisper truth into the heart of Mary, whisper truth to me. And then show me what beautiful thing I can do for him. Amen.
Questions For Reflection:
- Do you think Mary planned to do this act for Jesus or not?
- How do you think Martha might have reacted?
- What beautiful thing could you do for Jesus?
- What is God revealing to you in this story?