“Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?” (Matthew 26:6-8 ESV)
Carrying a full years’ wages in the form of myrrh to pour over the head of her Lord, Mary steps out of her front door to walk through the small village of Bethany over to Simon’s home where Jesus was. Can you imagine what is going through her mind in those minutes leading up to walking in that house! “Should I turn around? He will surely be with His disciples. What will they think? Do they believe Him when He speaks of laying down His life? If they do, then they will surely understand what I am about to do. But what if they don’t? Oh no, They are going to know what is in this flask when I pull the lid off because of the fragrance. They will know what it’s worth. What will they think of me?”
I don’t know. Maybe all of Mary’s insecurities had left her because, well, her brother Lazarus who was dead, is now alive, but I would still like to think Mary was working through some of the thoughts that are common to man on her walk. I like to imagine her, on the way to such a lavish resolve, singing something like this under her breath to fight off doubt and the approval of man:
All of my hopes
All of my fears
All of my wants
All of my years
And everything then
All my life I resolve
HE IS WORTHY OF IT ALL
Mary had a resolution. Jesus is worth it. How did she get there? How can we?
A good place to start would be to remember back to Luke chapter 10, when the same Mary was interacting with Jesus while He was spending time with her and her sister Martha at their home. I think the reason my mind goes there first is because of something Jesus said while He was teaching them that day.
“One thing is necessary.”
Whenever the King of the universe drops a line like that, we would do well to take note. And I think that Mary began to find her resolve in this “one thing” that Jesus was talking about. Do you remember what it was? Do you remember what she had chosen?
Sitting at His feet. Listening to His Words.
It may be an understatement to say that that is far from what we would expect the God of the universe to define as "the one thing needed,” but He did. And Mary chose the good portion. We will never see the worth of Jesus without spending time with Jesus. Time is the most precious thing we have, and without daily doing that “one necessary thing,” everything else in our lives creeps up as way more necessary than it should ever be. If you are like me, You may hear this voice chime in when it comes to setting aside real time to ‘sit at His feet and listen to His Words.’ A voice that says:
“Why This Waste?”
Sound familiar? The same accusation the disciples hurled at Mary as she emptied all that she was worth on the One Who she saw as Worthy. “Why This Waste?” Do you hear that in your life? I do. I hear it from the old man within. I hear it from our culture that tells me that if I don’t accomplish these certain things, that my worth is in question. I hear it from the pit of hell, that there are a lot things worth wasting my life on today, and Jesus is not in that list. It’s a tricky voice. It can easily convince me that my business is good and godly as I, like Martha, revert to all of the “more important things” that need to be done before I give Him ‘my’ precious time. And may I point out that sadly, some of the “important” things I am convinced are worthy of my time aren’t, in fact, important. Unless, of course, you would put browsing pictures of other people’s vacations in the category of “worth wasting your life on.”
A quote from Pastor John Piper reminds me often that “one of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”
Oh that we would see Him. Lift your eyes weary saint. Set your alarm a half hour early and pray for the faith to forsake the snooze button for the sake of knowing Christ Jesus your Lord. Sit at His feet. Listen to His Words. Do it again tomorrow. Sing a new song. Sing as though you were in love with the One you are singing to. Return to that place until you “behold His power and glory.” Make the place that Mary went a normal stop until “His steadfast love becomes better that life” for you. Then! When He begins to come in to view! We won’t just sing, but we will sing with “joyful lips!”
“So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,” (Psalm 63:2–5, ESV)
...because You are WORTHY OF IT ALL.