Jesus changes the concept of “costly perfume”

Text: John 12: 1-8; Fifth Sunday in Lent

Costly perfume, in Jesus’ time, sometimes consisted of the oily essence of a delicious flower called nard. Its pungent scent can fill a garden or a house. In today’s story, Jesus’ dear friends in Bethany threw him a big dinner. There, Mary used nard to freshen Jesus’ walk-tired feet. But, one of Jesus’ followers – Judas, the one who would betray him — objected to the expense.

What can we understand from this story? How do we apply it to our own lives today? Let’s try to understand the idea of “costly perfume” in a new way, transformed by Jesus’ love for the whole world.

Prayer of the Day

Creator God, you prepare a new way in our wilderness. The perfume of your love for us fills the air. Your grace waters our deserts. Open our hearts to be transformed by the new thing you are doing in us and in the world. Let our lives proclaim the extravagance of your love, given to all through your Son, Jesus Christ. We pray in the name of our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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