Jesus Is Loved
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Jesus Is Loved
By Dr. Carol J Miller
If you have a fancy bottle or jar, bring it with you to show the children. Perhaps there is something in your church’s props for Christmas––Wise Men’s Gifts
This story about the woman and the jar of expensive perfume happened just before Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem, just a few days before he died. There were some people in Jerusalem who were jealous of Jesus. The crowds of people listened to Jesus and followed Jesus. The jealous people wanted the crowds to listen to them and to follow them. Jesus was also telling the people that the jealous people were not telling the crowds the right things about God. What do you think the jealous people wanted to do to Jesus? (Thank the children for their answers). They wanted to kill Jesus. They were watching the gates of Jerusalem to see if Jesus would dare to come. Jesus knew what they wanted to do.
Jesus had told the Twelve Disciples and other friends that he was going into Jerusalem. They had tried to change Jesus’ mind, but Jesus said that he was going. So, when today’s story happened, they were almost all the way to Jerusalem. They stopped at the home of some of Jesus’ friends: three grownups who loved Jesus very much. There were two sisters, Mary and Martha, and their brother Lazarus. Jesus had probably been to their house before for dinner and the disciples, too. Back then they had all been happy and talking, enjoying being together, smiling and laughing. But tonight, hardly anyone was talking; the people moved slowly around the house, not saying much and not smiling. Why do you think that the people at Mary and Martha’s were quiet and not smiling? [Accept all answers]. They were thinking about what was going to happen when Jesus got to Jerusalem tomorrow and how they were not going to be able to help him.
Suddenly, Mary left the room and came back with a beautiful jar. [If you have a fancy jar or bottle, show it to the children now]. It was filled with very expensive perfume. Do you know how much that bottle of perfume costs? [Accept all answers]. A worker would have to work almost a whole year just to buy this one bottle of perfume!
Why did Mary have such an expensive bottle of perfume? Maybe her parents had given it to her so that someday–when she really needed to––she could sell it to get money. Or maybe it was Mary’s way of saving money. She might have saved up for years in order to have enough money to buy this bottle of perfume. It was her savings, it was there if she had trouble and needed money. We don’t know for sure, but Mary had it! It was probably the most expensive thing Mary had!
All of Jesus’ friends and disciples watched as Mary knelt down by Jesus’ feet. Then she did an amazing thing. She took her wonderful bottle of perfume and she broke off the seal that held the stopper on, and she poured that expensive perfume all over Jesus’ feet! Every bit of it! THEN instead of getting a towel to wipe it up, she let down her long hair and wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair! Wow!
Judas jumped up and started to complain: “What a waste! Why didn’t you sell the perfume and give the money to the poor?” He was yelling at Mary. Then Jesus spoke:“Leave her alone.” Jesus never liked it when people were mean to each other. “You will have lots of times to help the poor as you should, but this is special. Mary knows I am about to die. She is showing her love.”
Do you know what I think? I think Mary was showing Jesus that he was more important to her than anything; Knowing Jesus was the most important thing that had ever happened to her; more important than all the money in the world. Jesus said that what Mary had done would be told for years and years. And it is still being told! Mary understood how important Jesus is!
[All Scripture paraphrases are by Carol J Miller]
Copyright 2013, Richard Niell Donovan