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Mark 14:6 “But Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.’”

Mary pours an expensive ointment over the head and, according to John, also the feet, of Christ. While others protest the “wasted” resource, Jesus marvels at her action, calling it beautiful. 

We hear of little beauty coming toward Jesus during his three years of ministry. Mostly we see coming at Jesus human brokenness, he heals lepers, the demon possessed, the bleeding, the blind, and the lame. 

Spiritual ugliness also comes at him: the Pharisees hate him and try to trap him; they plot to kill him. Many make demands of Jesus: asking him to work miracles and perform services. Even his mother asks for wine to be made at a wedding. His own disciples doubt him, question him, fight for power, and abandon him. 

Then in the midst of all the ugliness, all the hate, all the demands and needs, all the disease, and sweat and hunger and thirst, comes this solitary act of beauty! It is no wonder Jesus accepts it gratefully and praises her for it. Our Savior and King, finally treated, in some small measure, according to his fabulous worth! 

This God who had lived eternally clothed in and surrounded by only beauty for eternity past, now plunged into the broken ugliness and sin of his once perfect creation. This Artist who with his words painted all the glories of the heavens. This Sculptor who formed the mountains and seas by his hand. This Great Physician who had knitted together the first perfect human forms. The Inventor of beauty, who is Beauty Incarnate, living in the squalor that sin had made his beautiful creation. He is presented with a single beautiful act and delights in it.

He chides the others, perhaps wearily, “leave her alone.” “She has done a beautiful thing to me.” As if to say: She finally of all the world around me rightly worships me with beauty, this beautiful fragrant ointment, and you dare to stop her from this right and beautiful worship? 


Rejoicing perhaps: Finally, someone who gets me, who sees my worth, my heart, my desire. And rather than coming to me to take more from me, to ask more of me, she comes to give to me, to offer to me, to share with me this beautiful thing. 

Here he is, the God of all Beauty, offered a small aroma of the beautiful, and he welcomes it gladly. What beauty may we offer him today? 

Lord, what act of beauty may I perform for your praise today? We cannot lavish beauty on you personally. But if we lavish it on your body, the church, is it not a beautiful thing for you? What beautiful thing shall I do for your church?