The story of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet the day before Palm Sunday is one of my favorite stories, not because of what Mary did (and it was certainly a beautiful, brave act of love) but because of what Jesus said. Mary came to Him, during a meal in front of everyone, and anointed His feet with special perfume. The act was far from ordinary, and it caused quite a stir. Mark’s Gospel says, “Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, ‘Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.’ And they rebuked her harshly.” But not Jesus. In front of all the guests, including His friends, He said, “‘Leave her alone . . . Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me . . . She did what she could.’” Then He goes on to memorialize her beautiful act by saying, “’Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Can you imagine how Mary must have felt to hear Jesus, her Lord, come to her defense in front of everyone? “Leave her alone.” I imagine each of us has felt embarrassed, misunderstood, foolish, or totally insignificant at one time or another. I know I have. But to know that Jesus sees, Jesus understands, and Jesus remembers changes everything. Suddenly the harsh words of others don’t seem so significant.
As you share the story of Mary’s gift with your little ones, encourage them that Jesus always sees what we do for Him, even when other people don’t or don’t understand. And His words mean more than all the others put together.
(Scripture from Mark 14:4-9 NIV)