John 12 tells us that six days before Passover, Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus who was raised from the dead, poured a jar of perfume on the feet of Jesus and wiped it with her hair. When people who witnessed what she has done criticized her that it was a waste because the perfume was very expensive, Jesus said: (v.7) Leave her alone. She did it in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but I will not be here with you much longer.
What prompted Mary to do this?
When Lazarus got sick, Martha and Mary sent a word to Jesus. When the message was received, Jesus decided to stay two days more. Before they left for Bethany, Lazarus passed away.
When Jesus arrived, Martha was quick to meet him but Mary decided to stay home. Martha said: “Lord, if you have been here, my brother would have not died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
(John 11:21-22 NLT). Did you notice her faith?
Then Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life….” Martha’s response indicated she believes in a future resurrection.
Whereas when Martha left Jesus, she told Mary, “The teacher is here and he is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him (John 11:28-29).
When she met Jesus, she said: Lord, if you have been here, my brother would have not died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Jesus wept
(John 11:32,33, 35 NLT).
Could it be that Jesus wept not because Lazarus was dead but because He saw Mary weeping like the others who do not have hope?
1Thess 4:13 - Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
Did Mary miss it?
In Luke 10:38-41 NLT, we find Jesus denying Martha’s request. Mary sat down to listen to Jesus while He was teaching. Martha said: “Doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me. Jesus replied, “My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it – and I won’t take it away from her.
Now having witnessed Lazarus rising from the dead, Mary gets it. She fully understands that Jesus is the Messiah. The one who will offer Himself to die on the cross so that those who believe in Him now has the hope of eternal life.
Traditionally, when guests come to a house, the host offers to wash their feet or their slave, if they have one, and provide a towel to wipe it dry. Receiving this revelation, she had planned on offering Jesus a gesture of gratitude overflowing by saving her expensive spikenard perfume on an alabaster jar. While Jesus was reclining at the table, she came and sat once again at his feet only this time, she will pour the spikenard on his feet and wipe it with her own hair. A gesture from a gratitude overflow.