“Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of my burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.” (John 12:7-8 NKJ)
The word devotion as used in the Bible refers to a person who has a: “strong attachment, dedicated loyalty, willingness to serve God, selfless affection, or a feeling of ardent love.”
Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, displayed all of these characteristics when she bowed at the feet of Jesus. In the Hebrew, to sit at someone’s feet showed a willingness to learn from that person. The idiom describes the intent of a person to submit to someone else’s teaching, authority, and way of life.
This was not the first time that Mary showed her love and worship by bowing at the feet of Jesus. When her brother Lazarus died the Bible says, “Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet saying to him, ‘Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’” (John 11:32) Now, we see her again positioning herself at the feet of Jesus and “taking a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair.” (John 12:3) We learn to worship Jesus when we follow Mary’s example of spending time in worship.
Mary was also very generous when she took her most costly possession and poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiping them with her hair. A Hebrew woman’s hair was the most honored part of her body, and Mary used it to clean the lowliest and dirtiest part of Jesus’ body. What a beautiful act of true devotion and worship!
Mary could have used the perfume to anoint the body of her brother Lazarus when he died; instead she saved it for the burial of the body of Jesus (John 12:7-8).
Judas Iscariot showed his lack of true devotion by complaining that Mary’s use of the costly spikenard should have been sold and the money distributed to the poor, “not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box.” (John 12:5)
Mary’s act of true devotion is a picture of the kind of worship that Jesus wants from each one of us. It is not our service, our monies, our time, or other possessions that Jesus wants, but rather our hearts devoted wholly and completely to him. The most valuable item that we possess is our relationship to the Savior.
The real question that we must answer in the New Year is: How much of ourselves will we give to our Lord and Savior during 2014.Prayer: Dear Lord, We are facing a new year with all its challenges. There will be times when we may be tempted to throw in the towel, but help us to be strong, and give you our full devotion. Increase my faith that I may trust you completely throughout this new year