Priority vs. Obsession
“Mary picked up an alabaster jar filled with nearly a liter of extremely rare and costly perfume—the purest extract of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet. Then she wiped them dry with her long hair. And the fragrance of the costly oil filled the house.“ - John 12:3 TPT
I have to first be honest….this thought did not originate with me. It began when I was listening to a teaching from Damon Thompson. And honestly, it just simply messed me up. I’ve been meditating on it for days.
Read the above verse again. As you probably recall Judas, the one who eventually would betray Jesus, did not take too kindly to this extravagant display of worship. His response is found in verse 5, "What a waste! We could have sold this perfume for a fortune and given the money to the poor!”
As critical and pious as we all like to be, if we were honest, we would have probably felt the exact same way as Judas. Especially if you were one who was poor. Think about it…..if you had a huge need and you saw what could satisfy your need being poured out in front of you, would you be quick to question, like Judas, this over the top devotion of Mary?
The only way to be sure is to answer this question, what is the most valuable thing in the room? If you answered the alabaster box of oil you would be incorrect. You see, Jesus is the most valuable thing in the room. And Mary was the only one who understood that. Everyone else put the most value on the oil, and in doing so, revealed a deep truth within their own hearts. Jesus was not the most valuable to them. He was a priority to them, but He was not their obsession.
Priority is defined as something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first. To obsess is to be the only person or thing that someone thinks or talks about; to excessively preoccupy the mind with.
Mary thought more of Jesus than she did the oil. Everyone else considered the oil first, and in doing so thought it wasteful to pour it out. It’s easy to be extravagant when you see and know Jesus to be more valuable than anything else you may have.
I realized that somehow, slowly, I began to think and act like a betrayer. I was comparing Jesus’ worth to things around me; arguing with myself about what He deserved and whether or not I would give it. The heart of Mary within me had been numbed by pain, disappointment, rejection, and unbelief.
What about you? Have you been walking with Jesus for so long that He has slowly become your priority and is no longer your obsession?