The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Patching Cracks


September 28, 2022

In the days right before Jesus entered Jerusalem, he was sitting at a meal with his disciples and some people he had encountered in his ministry. During the meal, a woman came in with a bottle of expensive perfume. Based on the description in the text, it was probably over 300 days wages (or about $54,500 in today’s money). The woman approached Jesus and poured the entire bottle over his head. It would have filled his hair and run down his beard. This was a sort of luxurious personal care type act. People would put oil in their hair and on their skin to moisturize it. It was a personal comfort in an ancient desert region. Without a doubt, the house would’ve suddenly been filled with the smell. Not only would the smell have filled the house, it would also have followed him everywhere he went during his time in Jerusalem. He would’ve smelled like royalty. Most scholars agree that the extravagant act was meant to be a prophetic preparation for his burial. It also would’ve made his presence like that of royalty among those who were questioning his credentials. He would’ve had a presence amongst those who carried their faith like a club, using their religious convictions to enforce their will on those around them. Jesus teachings and heart were a sharp contrast to those around him and were probably a welcome change to the common people of Jerusalem. His beautiful aroma was an excellent illustration of his presence in the Holy City.

Irecently read about this side effect of the anointing at Bethany. It had never occurred to me that the smell would’ve followed him for days. That his presence would’ve been a pleasant experience for everyone he encountered. Throughout my life as a follower of Jesus, there have been times where my attitude, words, and actions were not very much in keeping with Jesus’ example or teachings. In terms of my illustration, I brought an unpleasant aroma to the room wherever I went. My actions and attitudes stunk. On my best days, when I manage to imitate Jesus with my words and actions, I bring the scent of Jesus to the room wherever I go. Mind you, it’s not me, it’s Jesus. When we bring the love of Jesus into our relationships and interactions, people are blessed by our arrival. Whenever I have known people like that, I have been pleased and blessed by their presence. I have wanted to be more like them. I don’t think I am alone in that experience.

This is what Christians are called to be. As we follow him and grow to be more like him, we spread a love and joy everywhere we go. Our lives are a blessing to those we meet when we look like Jesus. This is not an instant change in our lives. We slowly grow to be more and more like him. Fundamental to this process is that we surround ourselves with people who look like Jesus. The more we surround ourselves with people who bring the aroma of the love of Christ everywhere they go, the more it will rub off on us and change us.


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