Lavish Love

John 12:1–11 ‘Mary took… pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet…’ (v3)

Mary’s act of worship was lavish; in contrast to Judas’ comment, which was based in personal greed (vv4–6). Mary is so grateful to Jesus; He has restored her brother to life.

She has seen a miracle. Everything was lost, over, finished – and Jesus brought about restoration and new beginnings.

Lavish Love

We see a similar act of worship by a woman who was present in a pharisee’s house when Jesus was there; she is called a woman who has ‘lived a sinful life’ (Luke 7:37) but her gratitude is as unrestrained as Mary’s.

In a time when women were expected to act with great restraint, Mary’s love for Jesus breaks the bonds of tradition.

In Matthew 26:13, Jesus says that what she has done will be told ‘in memory of her’. Jesus, who has also broken boundaries when he spoke alone with the woman at the well (John 4), commends this woman’s act of love.

What she has done will cost her dearly; the perfume was expensive. It could well have been her security, a pension, if you like.

Where is our security? Is it in what we have in the bank? Or in our employment, our homes, our families, or are friends?

Are we saying we trust wholly in Jesus, but in reality, like swimming in the shallows, we can easily rest our foot on the bottom of the pool?

What stops us from diving in and trusting Jesus wholeheartedly? And what might happen if we did? Gratitude and love inspired Mary to give all she had.

Surely, our gratitude for what Jesus has done for us on the cross means we too must give our best to Him.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Thank You, Jesus, for all that You have done for me.
I praise You, Lord, and I am grateful for [be specific here]. I give glory to Your name today. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
What can you do right now to show Jesus how much you love Him? Praise? Worship? Giving generously of yourself, your time or your resources for His kingdom’s sake?

Scripture To Consider:
Dan. 3:1–30 & 6:1–28; Luke 7:36–50; 2 Cor. 2:12–17

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.