A Place at the Table – 40 – Aroma
Mary Anoints Jesus
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
The Plot to Kill Lazarus
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—
the King of Israel!”
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:
“Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.
Look, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
Seay shares a scriptural connection I had not seen before. He notes the fact that its just the night before the Palm Sunday (As we call it today) entry into Jerusalem that Jesus was anointed by Mary with the valuable bottle of perfume. Seay notes that Jesus likely had a royal aroma as he entered the city. Jesus reflected the royalty that he truly was. Yet there is the contrast in that he rides in on a donkey and not on a majestic horse. The contrasts are stunning – the royal aroma of the perfume with the small colt that he rides. The power that he possesses within one who served and served and served. I was trying to think of what would be a good picture to try to capture the aroma of something – unfortunately scratch and sniff doesn’t work on a computer. I do have one picture of bacon that I was initially going to use as the scent of bacon always is something that cannot be missed. But I didn’t feel that it was necessarily appropriate for the day. So, something that captures beauty and aroma – a flower in full bloom.