How do you say, “Thank you.”

April 16, 2011

John, chapter 12 starts like this.  But before you read it, remember what happened in John chapter 11?  Fourteen words into 12 should remind you.  OK, go ahead and read a moment.

1 It was six days before the Passover Feast. Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived. Lazarus was the one Jesus had raised from the dead. 2A dinner was given at Bethany to honor Jesus. Martha served the food. Lazarus was among those at the table with Jesus.

 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard. It was an expensive perfume. She poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the sweet smell of the perfume.

 4 But Judas Iscariot didn’t like what Mary did. He was one of Jesus’ disciples. Later he was going to hand Jesus over to his enemies. Judas said, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold? Why wasn’t the money given to poor people? It was worth a year’s pay.”

 6 He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor. He said it because he was a thief. Judas was in charge of the money bag. He used to help himself to what was in it.

 7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “The perfume was meant for the day I am buried. 8 You will always have the poor among you. But you won’t always have me.”

It’s almost as if we could hear Jesus say,  “How else can she say, ‘Thank you.’ to me?  I gave her brother back to her.  In return she said ‘Thank you.’ with her most valuable treasure.”

Forgetting all the rest that we know about Judas, and John’s commentary about his character, when we stop and think about Mary, Martha and Lazarus, what else could they do?  How else could they say thank you?

I don’t have a pint of pure nard to pour on the feet of Jesus.  And unless I look it up (and Wikipedia does not mention the perfume) all I know is that is a very expensive fragrance, highly valued and highly valuable.  But I don’t have any.  I could tithe, and I do.  But these days, a years worth of tithe wouldn’t buy a pint of nard.

So, what can I pour at his feet?



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