A Lavishly Expensive Gift

What we do with our monetary possession after our needs are met somehow reveals our priority.   I read that if we really want to know where a person’s heart is, follow where he spends his money and we’ll find out.  His word says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

I asked my cousin to buy me an anointing oil on her trip to Israel.  All the while, I thought that she’d bring home for me one that is olive oil.  Well, for one, this is the only oil I know and heard of used as anointing oil, plus the process behind it has a parallel revelation with our Jesus being crushed, beaten and broken for our cleansing, healing and wholeness.

But to my surprise, she brought me a bottle of “Nard 100% Pure”.

Hmmmm …. honestly, I didn’t know what to think of it let alone use it.  Instead, I kept it aside until the designated time came for me to do a research about this NARD, where it is written in the Bible and its significance.  I love to use things when I have enough revelatory knowledge of such, lest doing without knowing will just be another religious activity without tapping into the powerful benefits of it.

One morning, I opened the bottle and ohhhh … wow … the fragrance of the oil filled my whole living room.  I was unexpectedly astounded by such extraordinary beautiful scent that my heart became unharnessed into its pursuit of knowing what NARD is.

I quickly got my phone and started to search for the word “NARD” and which part of the Bible this is written.  My heart leaped when I found out that this is the same perfume that filled the alabaster jar that Mary used to anoint Jesus’ feet at Bethany before His triumphal entry to Jerusalem to be crucified.

“Mary picked up an alabaster jar filled with nearly a liter of extremely rare and costly perfume—the purest extract of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet. Then she wiped them dry with her long hair. And the fragrance of the costly oil filled the house.” (John 12:3 TPT)

Mary showed her love for Jesus by bringing an extremely expensive gift.  She not only brought a very costly perfume, but brought an entire pound of it.

The word “SPIKENARD” comes from the Greek word “nardos,” which describes one of the most expensive perfumes that existed at that time.  It was an uncommon perfume extracted from grasses that grew in the country of India.  Once the juices were squeezed out of the grass, they were dried into a hard, lard-like substance.  Turning that lard-like substance into perfume was a very lengthy and costly process.  If you add to this the cost of transporting spikenard from India to other parts of the world., you can see why this particular perfume cost so much money.  Spikenard was so expensive that few people could buy it; most had to buy one of the many cheap “imitations” available.

Mary didn’t bring Jesus a cheap imitation; she brought Jesus the “real thing” – an ointment so valuable that is normally reserved and used only as gifts for kings and nobility.   (Taken from Sparkling Gems from the Greek by Rick Renner)

Mary indeed revered and honored Jesus as One Who is of great worth, Who is worthy of her extremely extravagant gift.  She recognized and acknowledged Jesus as the King of kings and Lord of lords by her mere gesture.

We’d call this “top-of-the-line giving!”  As remarkable as it is that Mary even possessed a gift this valuable, what she did with this perfume once she bought it is even more phenomenal!  John 12:3 says, “Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus.

When Mary took the lid off that expensive bottle, tipped it downward, and began to pour that precious ointment onto Jesus’ feet, everyone in the room must have gasped!  This kind of perfume was not normally used for feet!  Rather, it was the kind of ointment used to anoint the heads of kings and dignitaries.  Mary’s actions would have been considered a horrible waste in most people’s minds, but that wasn’t how she saw it.  Mary loved, appreciated, and valued the feet of the Messiah.

Isaiah 52:7 describes why Mary felt this way:  “How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion,  “Your God reigns!”

You see, no other feet in the entire world were more beautiful to Mary than the feet of Jesus.  Jesus had changed her life.  Jesus had brought her brother back from the dead (see John 11:32-44).  Jesus had brought new meaning into her family.  To Mary, every step Jesus took was precious, honored, and greatly valued.”

Remember, Jesus taught, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34)  Mary’s actions revealed her heart as she poured her most valuable treasure onto the feet of Jesus.  She deeply loved Jesus, and she showed it with the gift that she brought to Him.

John 12:3 continues to tell us that “she wiped His feet with her hair.”  After she poured the spikenard onto Jesus’ feet, Mary reached up to her head and untied her long, beautiful hair, gathering it in her hands.  Then she leaned down and began to wipe Jesus’ feet dry with her hair.

In the days of the New Testament, a woman’s hair represented her glory and honor.  The apostle Paul referred to this in 1 Corinthians 11:15 when he wrote that a woman’s hair was a “glory” to her.  For Mary to undo her hair and use it as a towel to wipe Jesus’ feet was probably the greatest act of humility she could have shown.  She was demonstrating how deeply she loved and how greatly she valued Jesus.  She didn’t throw a financial offering at His feet, but she possessed an attitude of worship as she gave Jesus the best gift she had to offer.

Considering how much spikenard cost, this was an enormous amount for Mary to use to anoint Jesus’ feet.  In fact, Judas Iscariot indignantly asked Jesus, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” (John 12:5)  The Greek word for “pence” is denarius.  In that day, a roman denarius was one day’s salary.  So when Judas announced that the spikenard could have been sold for three hundred pence, he was saying that Mary’s perfume was worth three hundred days of salary.  That is why it was such an extremely expensive gift.  It was worth almost an entire year’s income.   (Taken from Sparkling Gems from the Greek by Rick Renner)

We may not have much to offer Jesus such as an expensive perfume like this, as the expression of our love for Him, but what we can offer Him is our time, talent and treasure.  Mary not only brought Jesus this costly perfume, but she also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word (Luke 10:39),  and Jesus commended her when He told Martha, “ONE THING is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken  away from her.” (John 10:42)

One thing!  Yes, what is that one thing that we desire?  David had this “one thing” as well.

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4 AMPC)

 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You, for Jesus, Who came as a perfect sacrifice that I may be made FREE from sin, guilt, shame and condemnation.  Jesus, thank You for the abundant life that you gave me.  You totally changed me from the inside out that my life now has become a sweet smelling aroma into God’s nostrils, entirely washed by Your blood with my slate clear before the Father.  Thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your presence that nothing and no one can separate me from.  Teach me to live a life of giving You all my worth for You are worthy of it all.  Amen!

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