Today’s Reading: John 12:1-11
Mary had previously “sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching” (Luke 10:39) and she was commended by Jesus for choosing the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. Here again she is at the Lord’s feet, but for a different reason. Tonight she anoints His feet with genuine and very precious nard oil. Having heard His Word she believes and responds in all love and humility. Here is Jesus. Here is faith and love. And the house smelled like heaven itself.
But then Judas speaks up, that enemy of the Gospel. He laments this divine worship. “There’s $35,000 soaking into feet and hair and bare floor! Why this waste?” The oil was wasted, but only on Judas. To the other disciples it was a glorious and welcome fragrance. The same thing was about to happen again. Jesus was about to suffer. A thousand thorns would bring forth His precious blood and anoint His body. Beatings and lashings would open up His sacred veins and the wells of salvation would flow freely. Nails would pierce His hands and feet and there would be much more than $35,000 being poured out.
Some, like Judas, would waste this blood. They would lament it and go their own way. But the Church holds her cup to her Lord’s pierced side and believes His Word, “this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Where that blood is received, there is Jesus: gracious, merciful, and alive. There is faith and love. There is heaven itself.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, poured out His precious blood on behalf of sinners. Grant us faith to believe His Word and receive His sacred blood for the forgiveness of sins. Protect us from unbelief, and all the plots of the evil one, that we would not neglect so great a gift; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
This devotion was written by Rev. Andrew Richard, pastor of St. Silas Lutheran Church in North Liberty, IA.