Journey to the Cross


Like spending time with a good friend, let’s get to know Jesus a little more each day.


Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, home of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Lazarus and his sisters hosted a dinner for him. Martha served and Lazarus was among those who joined him at the table. Then Mary took an extraordinary amount, almost three-quarters of a pound, of very expensive perfume made of pure nard. She anointed Jesus’ feet with it, then wiped his feet dry with her hair. The house was filled with the aroma of the perfume. Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), complained, “This perfume was worth a year’s wages! Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would take what was in it.)

Then Jesus said, “Leave her alone. This perfume was to be used in preparation for my burial, and this is how she has used it. You will always have the poor among you, but you won’t always have me.”

John 12:1-8


Maybe Judas was right — maybe Mary’s gift for Jesus was a big waste. Maybe she shouldn’t have poured her expensive perfume all over Jesus’s feet. Maybe her goal really should have been to sell the perfume and give the money to the poor.

What do you think? Did Mary waste perfectly good perfume? Was it a silly gift?

In the way that Paul considered his accomplishments to be worth nothing compared to knowing Christ, I wonder if Mary considered her perfume to only be of worth as a gift for Jesus.

I like that both Mary and Paul give so much of themselves to Jesus — all because they want to know Jesus and love him. I wonder what kind of gift you can give Jesus this week? It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant; it just has to be given with love.

Erin Spengeman Hutchison


God, I am striving to know you and love you. Help me to give myself to you today. Amen.


Know that Christ is alongside you, arm in arm like a good friend.

Christ is behind you, helping you.

Christ is ahead of you, showing you the way.

Christ is below you, carrying your worry.

Christ is above you, illuminating your path.

Christ is within you, for you are his home.