It is hard for people like me, living in this culture in this time in history, to understand what is happening in these verses. Obviously, at the time Mary poured out this expensive perfume, it was a bold, even controversial act.
According to one source I read, Mary’s perfume, probably imported from India, was worth about one year’s wages. It was about 12 ounces and intensely fragrant. Something this valuable may have been a family heirloom, perhaps passed from one generation to another. Remember, Mary’s own brother had recently died and this treasure had not been used even for his funeral. Yet, Mary pours every ounce on Jesus as an act of sacrificial love. She holds nothing back, and even the things that are most precious to her are nothing in light of His greatness, and in light of the cross.
When I read this story, it causes me to search my heart and ask the question – when was the last time I poured out something precious on Jesus? What about you? Do you understand what that means? I’m not talking here about a fortune of money or treasure. I’m talking about the precious gifts God has given you.
Anything that you have can be a gift that you pour out on God. Anything. Some have vehicles that they use to transport people to Church, or to doctor’s appointments during the week. Some have space in their house where they welcome people into a loving atmosphere. Some give time and energy to serve a youth sponsors or Sunday School teachers. Some have a gift for working tirelessly behind the scenes.
Whatever you have, pour it out on Christ.