John Donaldson - Masterton, New Zealand Convention - December 31, 2000

John 12:1-7, here we find that what Mary did had an effect on the whole house. That would make an interesting study:  things which affected the whole house. The words, the attitude, the spirit of one person in the house can affect the whole house. A soft answer when there is wrath or strife, or on the other hand, the wrong words, harsh words, etc.

There are things that affect the atmosphere of the house. Many things that are done affect the house. It is necessary to teach the children the importance of the things of God, of denying oneself, of keeping first things first, etc. But does the savour of the home back up the teachings of the home? Children are very quick to detect this, even if they can't define it. It's the savour that affects people and that remains with us.

There was one who criticized Mary here. She didn't open her mouth, but One did. We're glad she kept quiet and gave Jesus an opportunity to speak. We're glad for what He said here, speaking about his death and burial, etc. Mary understood more than the disciples at that time. She did this to encourage Him to die. She understood that He would have to die in order for all the promises to be fulfilled. We owe a great debt to people like Mary.

We can do the same thing today by the savour from our life and sacrifice. We can encourage others to make the most of Christ's sacrifice and to sacrifice their own will. We could also discourage people in this. Hopefully our life speaks volumes to encourage others to deny themselves. We expect the old to give that message but it's good when young people also do it through their manner of life, their behaviour, their dress, etc.

Jesus came to spend and be spent and to minister to others - He didn't come to be blessed. This was a rare day for Him when He received a blessing from another person. He came to bless us. Judas criticized. We tend to criticize when our own conscience is pricked. It is good to be inspired when others do the right thing rather than to criticize because our conscience is pricked. Everyone would have left that gathering that day with the odour of the ointment clinging to their clothes. But two were especially affected. Jesus would have carried the odour a long time because it was poured on Him, and it was very potent and concentrated. But, Mary also. Her hands and her hair would have been impregnated with the ointment. When we sacrifice, we bear signs of the sacrifice to the honour of God's kingdom. She wiped his feet with her hair.

We read in I Corinthians 11 that long hair is a woman's glory. She took her glory to the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with it. There are certain things we glory in, abilities or attributes, etc. Look for ways to use them to glorify Jesus Christ. She herself went out blessed, also.