Another person who gave up all for Christ was Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha. John 12 records the event.
Lazarus and his sisters threw a dinner party for Jesus. Jesus had recently raised Lazarus from the dead, so you can imagine people were interested to meet him. Martha served dinner, of course. Lazarus reclined at the table with Jesus and the other men.
Mary came into the room, carrying an alabaster jar of nard and fell at the feet of Jesus. She broke the jar, poured the perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair.
Why do I say she gave all for Jesus? This was not a small gift. Nard was a very expensive perfume. This jar of nard was worth a full year’s wages. (12:5) Imagine giving a year’s gross income to Jesus as an act of worship. In addition, the alabaster jar was valuable.
This was likely a gift from Mary’s father, a dowry item or even an investment. It represented security and savings, such as we might put gold coins or savings bonds in a lock box. When Mary poured this out on Jesus, she did not just give a token. She gave up security. She gave up her future to Jesus. By doing this, she effectively said “to know you is more valuable than my future”, “to worship you is more satisfying than wealth and security”.
It a physical representation of Paul’s statement that he counted everything he lost as rubbish compared to knowing Christ and being found in him.
Sometimes the folks around us do not appreciate this kind of extravagant worship and devotion. There was some grumbling amongst the dinner guests here.
But Jesus defended her. He accepted her worship and he chastised those who thought it was too extravagant.
Jesus is worthy of all we have. Paul and Mary both understood this and lived it out.