Day 1: Jesus Anointed At Bethany

Read John 12:1-8

"Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about
a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”


Jesus and His disciples are at the home of His dear friend, Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead (John 11:1-44). Martha, Lazarus’ sister, is serving the guests dinner. The gang is eating their meal together. While they are still at the table, Lazarus’ other sister, Mary, decides to give a treasured gift to Jesus. She begins to pour a pint of sweet perfume onto Jesus’ feet. This perfume was valued at about 300 denarii – equal then to one year’s worth of wages. It had probably been in her family for quite some time and only used in small portions for special occasions, but she uses all of it to anoint Jesus. Jesus confirms (in verse seven) that this anointing is to prepare Him for His burial. What a beautiful sight the disciples were able to experience with all of their senses and hearts as they observe the moment that Mary was down on her knees, in total humility, pouring this expensive family ointment on Jesus’ feet and wiping them with her hair. Mary could not have fully understood the impact of what she was doing, but was prompted by God to anoint Jesus and obeyed. She didn’t worry about what others would think. She concerned herself with an audience of One, God.

Mary could not have fully understood the impact of what she was doing, but was prompted by God to anoint Jesus and obeyed.


Is there something in your life that God has been prompting you to do? What is it? Has something been holding you back? Doubt? Fear? Even if it is costly, if God is calling you, what do you need to do or release to take that step of faith? You can start on this first day of Lent by asking God to help you make movement forward in doing for Him what He is prompting you to do in your heart. You can do it, one day at a time.

Here’s a simple prayer, “Jesus, please help me to boldly and courageously do what you have been prompting in my heart to do. Over this season of Lent, I ask that you will remove fears and roadblocks and replace them with strength, wisdom and courage. As I journey through this 46 days of Lent, let me be transformed more into your image. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”