The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

07/01/2010

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The Giving Of Friends


"Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume" (John 12:3).

Nardostachys jatamansi.... The plant from which nard it extracted..Jane would be proud of me..Nard was a perfume of great value during the time of Jesus. It is recorded that the Roman philosopher Horace offered the author Virgil a whole barrel of his best wine for a small vial of nard. Usually when I close my devotionals on Monday I say; "It would be a good day for a RAK." (random act of kindness)... Just six days before the Passover, Jesus was at the home of Mary and Martha in Bethany with a "risen" Lazarus also in attendance. Here a dinner was being given in Jesus' honor and while they were reclining at the table, Mary performed this wonderful act for her friend, Jesus. Mary's act of devotion and friendship was a very costly one. Nard was very expensive, as indicated by Judas in the following verse when he said; Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." Though we see that Judas had an ulterior motive, the statement is not without validity. But....The nard was not his, so he could not legislate it's use.

Mary's act was somewhat unusual. When this type of annointing was done, the head was the more normal target, and no respectable woman would unbind her hair in public. Two things ought to be noted here. The attending of the feet was a servant's role. Mary wanted to be viewed as Jesus' servant. Hmmmmmmm.. Also, the use of her hair showed her humble spirit of servitude and friendship. Jesus was her friend and a guest in her home. She wanted to show that he was of great importance to all, and in her simple act, showed it magnificently in the magnitude of her gift, and the spirit in which it was given. "And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." Real friends do good things for their friends. They might not always involve something expensive like the nard, but they always ought to include the humility and spirit of servitude. Real friends know that serving others is like serving the Lord. Whether what Mary did was a RAK or a planned act, she showed us how friends treat one another in humility and loving care...A RAK anyone?

Have a great day...Make a difference... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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