Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
John 12:3

If we hadn’t heard this story before and were actually there partaking in the meal with them, we might feel tense at the abnormal display. So much of our comfort is rooted in what we find familiar. Sure, we appreciate some variety in controlled scenarios, but we love the familiar. While foot washing was customary for the time, using such a scented ointment and anointing his feet as dramatically as Mary did was weird and probably made some onlookers squirm uncomfortably. Judas potentially was the least engaged in the meaning of the events transpiring, so he was the one prodded into protesting.

In precious moments of private worship, we simply respond to some fantastic aspect of God. Just a person to his Maker. The thought of others observing us is immaterial. I, myself, sing to the Lord. Trust me, I can’t sing. But sometimes only a song will do! It comes out of me like water from a fountain. I’m only aware of him and him receiving me. Having an audience would shatter that for me. I am terrified of people hearing me. Mary, on the other hand, wants people to witness this lavish demonstration of costly adoration.

King David dances in his underwear in front of his people without context; that one will always be weird. David danced because of his joy in God’s goodness to him and to celebrate God’s presence with him. This leaves us with an expansive precedent about what worship truly is. In a word, it’s dynamic! It changes from person to person. It’s an expression of who a person is, but it’s also an expression of who God is to receive it.

You can worship effectively without taking off your clothes 🙂 It’s just kinda weird. I’m sure it was just perfect for King David to do at the time before God. God received it though right? Worship has consequences… Mary no longer had 300 denarii and King David was chewed out by his wife.

Corporate worship is beautiful and grand, but individual worship is weird and awesome. So worship your God, dear reader. Worship in a nuanced way that fits your walk with God and it might be a little weird for those who don’t get it. Who cares! We’re worshiping God, not man. Jesus accepted and even defended Mary’s worship, He’ll do the same for us.

Jonathan Duncan

Subscribe to the Daily Fill