It was a big day at Bethany. Lazarus had been raised from the dead by Jesus and sat at the table while Martha served. Jesus was there and Mary poured out costly oil on Jesus feet and wiped His feet with her hair. While she worshipped the house was filled with its fragrance. While some worked and others waited, Mary worshipped while Judas watched on. In any service there are those serving, those wanting to hear from Jesus, those wonder if all this passion could be better used helping the poor, and there are some who come to worship.
In His defence of Mary, Jesus said, sure help the poor but the priority is worship. When Jesus sits before us, being helpful or practical, or even alleviating need seems inappropriate. An accurate assessment of the moment led Mary to worship. She worshipped the God who had no need because she had a need to worship. When Mary the needy one, gave to the One who had no need she found herself richer. 300 denarii is about a year’s salary – that’s extravagant worship but worship by definition can’t be measured out, only poured out.
Extravagant worship always exposes the cold, pragmatic and practical mindset. While the thief was willing to be generous with someone else’s money, the worshipper was generous with her own. Judas the betrayers question was why… Marys question and every worshipper’s question is who, when and how but never why.
Friend, when Jesus sits before us in the house, we can serve Him, wait on Him or think of how to help others but the only appropriate thing that fills the house with fragrance, is extravagant sacrificial pouring out from our hearts in worship.