Costly Worship

John 12:1-8

How much does it cost to worship the Savior? I am not talking about a monetary cost, but a cost in time or energy. Worship, true worship, is the desire of every believer. To lift up the Savior in word and deed – to speak well of Him in our daily conversation – is our ultimate goal. So how much will it cost?

Mary shows us an example of the true cost of worship.  Notice:

  • The Cost of the Ointment
  • The Choice Mary Made
  • The Center of Her Worship

The Cost of the Ointment

The Scriptures remind us: “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus …” (John 12:3). Much has been written and can be said about the monetary cost of the ointment – three hundred pence, close to one year’s worth of wages. Something of so much value was poured out upon the Lord Jesus Christ. It speaks to me of giving Christ our all, no matter the cost. Worship should not be a mindless, effortless operation we perform. It should be an outpouring of a prepared heart, given to honor the One who is worthy. Notice also that “the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.” True worship has a sweet fragrance to God and to others.

The Choice Mary Made

Taking a look at the characters mentioned here, we can glean something of the bold choice that Mary made to worship. “Martha served,” as we often read of her doing (see Luke 10). “Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at the table” in fellowship with Christ. These are two important roles that every believer can have. We must serve Christ in our everyday lives and fellowship with Christ is vital in our Christian walk. Mary had a choice to make. What role would she play? “Mary…anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair.” She chose to worship Him in her service (anointing His feet) and in her fellowship (a connection with the Savior).

The Center of Her Worship

There was something about the Lord Jesus Christ that caused a desire within her to lavish her love upon Him. Christ reminds us in Luke 7 of the one who “loved much” because of the many sins that have been forgiven. How could she not worship the One who brings forgiveness? Worship, therefore, brings an intimacy with the Savior. We realize and honor His position in our lives and serve him with our words and deeds. Mary anointed the feet of the Savior. We are reminded of Paul, quoting Isaiah, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom 10:15). Mary appreciated the Savior and wanted to do something that would honor Him!
Worship includes reverence, love, and devotion – all witnessed in Mary’s act. It was a service that did not go unnoticed, as Christ himself could say, “Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.” It was costly worship. It was an example to every one of us, dear believer, to evaluate our own worship. How much does it cost you to worship the Savior?

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