Three Mary’s Point to Easter – Part 2

A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
 John 12:2-3 NLT
Photo by Ron Lach on

Mary of Bethany is perhaps my favorite to write about. Not that she is any more favored than the others, but she seems to be the least understood. Film directors have sometimes portrayed her as a prostitute or get her confused with Mary Magdalene (Our next lesson’s example). But Mary of Bethany was an entirely distinct person in the Bible. She was the sister of Martha and Lazarus. and though Martha does almost all the talking, it is possible that Mary was the oldest, since she is often mentioned first. It is interesting that in all her three of Mary’s meetings with Jesus, we find her at His feet.

When we first we see Mary, she is quietly listening at Jesus’ feet, while her sister is preparing food for the disciples. When Martha confronts Jesus about this and complains, Jesus surprises everyone by telling them that Mary has chosen the better part, and no one will be allowed to take it away. (Luke 10:42). The second time we encounter this special lady, she is weeping at the feet of Jesus after the death of her brother Lazarus. Though she says the same words that her sister Martha did, “If you would have been here my brother would not have died”, her posture shows us something more. She has not forgotten that even in sorrow, the best place to be is still at the feet of Jesus. Last of all at the celebration banquet that is held after Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead we come to today’s verse. Again, Martha is busy serving everyone, Lazarus is holding the place of honor right next to Jesus, but in the middle of all the banging of plates and the table conversations, Mary silently slips away. When she returns, she is carrying a small alabaster flask containing an incredibly expensive perfumed oil. While everyone is talking, she quietly comes up behind Jesus, breaks open her flask and pours it on His head. Suddenly people grow silent, as the beautiful aroma fills the room. You might have thought someone would have exclaimed, “Wow! What a great thing to do for Jesus!”, but that was not the case. Instead, led by Judas Iscariot, all the disciples begin to protest that this should have been sold and the money given to the poor. We learn in Mathew’s gospel that; Mary also anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. I picture this as coming right after the critical whispers begin. But the wonderful thing about Mary, is that she simply keeps on pouring out her gift till every drop is lavished on Jesus! Now if I had been in Mary’s place, I would have lost my temper. (Yes, I still have one!) I would have spun around shouting, “You Bozos! Haven’t you even been listening to what Jesus has been saying? He is going to Jerusalem and there he will be killed. You are all just a bunch of selfish jerks!!!!” But Mary didn’t do that. Instead, she simply trusted Jesus to answer, and his response still rings in the air today.

She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”
Matthew 26:12-13 NLT

Mary, the mother of Jesus, by her faithful obedience and loving sacrifice brought Jesus into this world, Mary of Bethany now anoints His body for burial and prepares Him for the cross.

Master There’s Still More

This is Easter Sunday – the day that we Christians base our entire faith upon. Some of us are having some big dinners together with family and the scene in Bethany, where they were honoring Jesus with a feast is very much like that. John’s gospel tells us that his disciples and closest friends were all there. Everyone was talking and enjoying the great food when Mary quietly entered. At first no one noticed her, but then she took an alabaster jar filled with perfumed oil, broke it open and began to pour the oil on the head of Jesus. The Bible says that fragrance filled the air and one by one people fell silent and turned their heads to see what was going on. John tells us that Mary anointed the feet of Jesus while in Matthew says she poured it on His head. In this song which I wrote for an Easter play a few years ago I imagine that she did both, because after pouring some on the head of Jesus, she saw that she still had more. Do you still have more for the Master this Easter? It doesn’t matter what others say or think. he is quietly waiting for us to share all we have, even if it seems a waste to others. Not one drop of the fragrance of our worship will be too much for Him!

If you would like to use my song, please just let me know. I will be glad to send you song sheets and give permission to use it without charge. You can contact me at – God bless and Happy Easter all!

Just Like Us

She was just like us
As she walked along that day
Just like us when she heard the angel say
Out of all the world
The Lord has favored you
With a Son to bear away our sins
When His time on earth is through

And just like us
She asked about His plan
How can this be
Since I don’t know a man?
But I believe
And wait in quiet faith
To see all that our God will do
If I say yes today!

But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
Luke 1:29-31 ESV

Just Like Us by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2021 all rights reserved