Mary’s Alabaster Box
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head. (Mark 14:3, NLT)
Just like it’s sometimes said that the party doesn’t start until so and so arrives it might be said of Mary of Bethany that true worship and adoration of Christ didn’t start until she entered in the room. Once again, we get to be that fly on the wall, able to observe how Mary always stirred strong emotions in others. They were never ambivalent towards her. They either appreciated her relationship with Christ and the fact that she knew she had just as much a right to be near the Savior to as anyone else, or they disapproved. She determined that being a woman who adored Christ was not a barrier and no one was going to keep her from performing a loving act for Him. Mary’s worship of Jesus was never half way or lukewarm. She did not care who thought what, but her focus was on her Savior and Him alone. While others in the room judged her worship, Mary worshiped without giving them thought or being discouraged. She did not try to hide her adoration of Christ or feel embarrassed by her soul’s need to pour over Him.
Anyone who shares Mary’s love and adoration for the Savior also has the ability to worship Him as freely as she. They also possess a precious box or jar of worship to break open for Him. Her temperament and attitude might have been humble but her love for Jesus was fierce and her worship genuine and fearless.
Mary’s spirit of worship—just like ours—does not need to match or sync with anyone else’s spirit or heart for worship. Our heart for worship is as unique as we are. When we read this passage, we might ask ourselves how Mary’s worship inspires or sparks a new level of worship in us. What’s in our jar just waiting to be released for Jesus? When our worship is for Christ alone, we don’t need a crowd or permission, there is no need to feel shy or embarrassed with the amount of adoration and loves that pours out to him. It is a special moment between our Savior and us. When I was an organist, one of my most favorite times of playing was before anyone arrived for worship or in the middle of the week where it was no one except Jesus and myself. I wasn’t concerned about working out a problem area I the piece or needing to keep up with what was going on around me, nothing except playing for the Lord. As special as Mary’s act of worship was to her it was even more special and significant for Jesus and our jars of worship broken for him will be also.
Praying Mark 14:3
Jesus, what a beautiful thing Mary did! She was someone who didn’t let what others thought hold her back, she wasn’t concerned about the expense or how it looked, she simply obeyed the Spirit and let His heart guide her heart, feet and hands. May Mary’s story inspire and spark new worship in us. Surely, there is a special blessing waiting on us as we worship You without reservation. Amen
Ask the Spirit to release you to worship.