Devotional Readings

Flowers Before the Funeral

Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. Matthew 26:13.

There is a feast at Simon’s house. Jesus is there, and Mary is at Jesus’ feet. Her heart is breaking because she’s heard Jesus talk about going to Jerusalem, where evil men will put Him to death. Mary heard–when even His disciples refused to listen. And she can’t stand the thought, for Jesus is her best Friend.

She doesn’t like the synthetic custom of sending flowers after loved ones have gone. So you see her slipping quietly across the room to where Jesus is sitting. She carries the precious box of ointment, and thinks that if she’s careful, no one will ever know.

And that’s where her plan goes wrong. Whenever you open a box of spikenard, it screams. Suddenly all eyes are upon her, including Simon’s at the head of the table. The guests begin to murmur as she pours the ointment over Jesus’ head and feet.

That’s when she discovers she’d forgotten something else, too–she has no towel, or anything else like it with her. In those days, only a woman of the streets would let her long, flowing hair down, but Mary never gives it a thought. She lets down her hair and wipes up the ointment. Imagine her there in her embarrassment. Everyone is staring at her and whispering, and down there at the other end of the table Simon is thinking, If this man Jesus knows what kind of woman she is and yet still allows her to touch Him, He must not be a prophet! It seems strange that anyone with Simon’s record could have thought that way, but he did.

“Mary knew not the full significance of her deed of love. She could not answer her accusers. She could not explain why she had chosen that occasion for anointing Jesus. The Holy Spirit had planned for her, and she had obeyed His promptings.”–The Desire of Ages, p. 560. Christ explained to Mary, and to those present, the meaning of her act. “And as He went down into the darkness of His great trial, He carried with Him the memory of that deed, an earnest of the love that would be His from His redeemed ones forever.”–Ibid.

from Faith that Works
Morris Venden | Review & Herald (2000)
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