By Mackenzie Young
As women of God, what are we called to leave behind on this earth? In other words, what is our legacy?
Let’s look at Mary, the woman in Bethany. This woman is mentioned specifically in Scripture on three different occasions: when her sister Martha is too busy in the kitchen to listen at the feet of Jesus, when her brother Lazarus is raised from the dead, and when Mary herself anoints Jesus’ feet with oil six days before Passover.
Mary was personal friends with Jesus – but He specifically says that she will be remembered for anointing Him with oil.
“Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” – Mark 14:9
Jesus doesn’t say Mary will be remembered for sitting at His feet, drinking in His teaching. He doesn’t say she will be remembered as the sister of Lazarus. Why?
It has to do with how she approached Christ at the anointing.
Mary smashes a jar worth ten months’ wages. She doesn’t simply pour enough to cover Jesus’ feet, but instead she smashes the jar and pours out almost an entire year’s worth of work onto the feet of a King. Would you give Jesus a year’s wages? Would you give up a year that you’ve spent pursuing a relationship or certain career path?
Mary recognized the value of the man standing in front of her. He deserved her finest, most perfumed oil – the most precious of things she had inside her home, and He deserved all of it.
Do you find yourself holding something back from Christ? A relationship? Your future? Your favorite sin?
Mary then took her hair down to wipe the oil off of Christ’s feet. In Jewish custom, a woman would only uncover her hair and let it down in front of her husband. Mary of Bethany recognized the calling on her life: to anoint a King for burial. This King of Kings deserved everything she had to give him, and He deserved the devotion and care normally reserved for a spouse.
Mary of Bethany was poured out and hair down for Jesus Christ – Son of Man, Prince of Peace, King of Kings. That is what she will be remembered for. Will you?
Her example of discipleship is one we are called to follow. We frequently hold things back from Christ – accomplishments, wealth, or simply comfort. We avoid intimacy with Him in favor of intimacy with things and people around us.
Jesus loves you, intentionally and specifically. How can you put down your baggage or smash your alabaster jar and come to Him poured out and hair down?
This article was inspired by a devotional from The Final Days of Jesus: A Lent Study for Women by Becky Kiser.