“Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
– John 12:3
This picture of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with extravagance. His offering poured out on him challenges me, like I want to live my life in adoration of Jesus and just pure unadulterated love for Jesus. I want to encourage you in that way. Would you describe your relationship with Jesus, your time with him with the words adoration and pouring out love on him?
Is our time with God duty or delight? Let’s ask God for grace to delight in Him, meditating on His Word day and night.
John 12:3 Depicts an Overflowing Love of Christ
This is the kind of life that God has designed us to live, a life of love, when the first and greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord, your God.” Not, “Do this, do that, do this,” but love, love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and all your soul and all your might and all your strength. So, sure. Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. You will do these things.” But it all springs from a heart of love. This is not obligatory worship here in John, chapter 12. This is worship that overflows from love.
This Verse Reminds Us That Our Faith is Not a Chore
And so, I would encourage you, is your Christian life, right now, even time with the Lord in prayer or the word, when it comes to fasting or witnessing or church or just any number of facets of the Christian life, would you describe it as duty or delight? Like obligatory? “Okay, I know I need to do these things,” or overflowing? “1) I just want to do these things. 2) I want to be with God in prayer. 3) I want to be in His word because I enjoy Him, and I want to know Him more. 4) I want to love Him more and more and more and more. God, may that be the condition of our hearts. Please cause that to be the condition of our hearts.”
I pray especially for anybody right now who’s really struggling with that kind of desire, who’s anyone for whom Christianity really feels a lot more like duty than it does delight right now. Like, “I have to do these. I need to do these things. I know I need to … ” God, I know that’s not what you’ve designed for us. You’ve designed us to desire you. You’ve designed us to delight in you, to love you, to lay ourselves at your feet in worship of you. God, we pray that that would be our experience. I pray for others who aren’t experiencing that right now, God, that you would through your word, through prayer in your church bring about that kind of delight.
John 12:3 Helps Us Seek God
Help them. Help us all to seek you with all our hearts. Knowing when we seek you, we will find you. We will experience you in greater and greater and greater depths. You’re infinite in all of your attributes. You’re infinite in your beauty, and you’re a wonder and you’re grandeur, which means there’s more and more and more and more to be discovered every day in you. So, help us to grow in love for you continually. So help us to grow in love for you even as we grow in the depth of our understanding of your love for us. May our lives look a lot like Mary. In John, chapter 12, verse 3, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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