What Jesus Did! 'Memories of Extravagance' — John 12:1-3

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Six days before the Passover festival, Jesus went to Bethany. Bethany is the town where Lazarus lived. (Lazarus is the man Jesus raised from death.) In Bethany they had a dinner for Jesus. Martha served the food. Lazarus was one of the people eating with Jesus. Mary brought in a pint of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. Mary poured the perfume on Jesus' feet. Then she wiped his feet with her hair. And the sweet smell from the perfume filled the whole house.
— John 12:1-3 NLT
Illustration of John 12:1-3 NLT —  And the sweet smell from the perfume filled the whole house.

Key Thought

Our sense of smell is powerful. It can attract or repel us. It can excite or inhibit us. Most of all, it can deeply embed a memory and call it back powerfully to the surface of our emotions when the fragrance reappears. This situation is one that will be anchored in the memory of all who participated. This story would be told and re-told by them every time they caught even the faintest whiff of the same aroma. But more than just the literal fragrance, they would remember the beautiful aroma of extravagant love demonstrated by Mary. When we truly know that Jesus loves us and that he ransoms those we love from death, how can we not be extravagant in our display of love for Jesus? Let's be like Mary who was more concerned to extravagantly display her love for Jesus and less concerned about the criticism of those around her!

Today's Prayer

Father, please forgive me. I confess that way too often my display of love for Jesus is passionless and predictable. I truly love and appreciate you, Jesus, for your unbelievable sacrifice and the victory over death that you purchased for me by your agony. O Father, help me be less concerned about criticism from others and more free to show my love for my Savior. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 11:29-32, 39-44
  • Mark 14:1-9
  • 2 Corinthians 9:15


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.