First and last

first and last anointing of Jesus - WoJ

It was a first for those present, a scandalous activity with no previous precedent.

A woman approached Jesus at table, broke open her future with the breaking open of an alabaster jar.

Then she anointed Him with its contents of precious perfume, paving a way for His burial to come.

She was the first to truly recognise His imminent death and burial were nigh and act accordingly.

She was the first to anoint Jesus as prospective Lord and Saviour.

The first to lavish love so abundantly, to waste her own resources and dignity on Him.

And in doing so, to cause an outcry and uproar among the disciples.

For in their moral high ground estimation, who in their right mind would put pouring out expensive perfume on Jesus above giving the money it cost to the poor?

However, love shows itself in a multiplicity of ways.

Knowing and believing we're God's beloved will change our actions and outlook. Click To Tweet

This anointing released love as a sweet perfume into the room because of Mary’s actions.

This wasn’t the first Mary to be part of God’s redemptive story and she won’t be the last.

However, this Mary was  recognised by Jesus as having deep insight into the reason why He came.

She was the first to openly devote herself to Him and anoint Him for burial as future reigning King.

Are you concerned about never having come first in anything? Please don’t be.

Take comfort from being your own unique self; it's all God asks of you in relationship with Him. Click To Tweet

And in His topsy-turvy Kingdom values we have the mystery of the first being last and the last becoming first as we are all changed by His grace.

Maybe, like Mary, we can learn to allow Holy Spirit to prompt us into an act of generous surrender out of love for Jesus?

Perhaps we can experience a ‘first’ opportunity in our lives as we open up our hearts and minds to Him? I hope so, my friend, I really do.

I’m sharing my (a bit longer than 5 minute) words with Kate and the lovely five-minute-friday crew as the first leap back into writing in community together for 2016. And with Barbie for a spot of sacred soul sharing at Weekend Whispers. Come join us?

PS: You can read the full biblical account of the anointing of Jesus here…


  1. Love, love, love this post. She is such a role model; first lavishing love on Jesus. May we be more like the Mary’s especially this first Mary in the world. I’m over in the #6 spot this week.

    1. Thanks, Tara. Yes, I would love to have a Mary heart and lavish extravagant love on Jesus. I found you, friend, and appreciated your optimistic take on ‘first’ as well as the thought of doing bible journalling. It intrigues and interests me too. Have a blessed week.

    1. Sheila, I so appreciate seeing you here, my friend! Thank you for your lovely encouragement and for sharing this post. Xox <3

  2. Thanks for this, Joy – I’ve been thinking about having “Beloved” as my one word for 2016, so this felt like a confirmation.

    1. Hi Fiona. How lovely to see you here! Thanks for visiting and letting me know your word for 2016. Being God’s Beloved is something I will also be exploring over the next few months as I begin to try to fathom the depths of His love. It’s good to hear we have this in common and I’m so pleased this post helped confirm the word you received. Blessings to you.

  3. I love this story of Mary’s love and devotion towards Jesus. She was so focused on Him and grateful for what He was to her that she didn’t pay attention to what others thought. Thank you for reminding me of this story, Joy. May we have that kind of devotion! I hope you are feeling more rested. Blessings and hugs!

    1. Trudy, you capture the key thing here with respect to Mary’s abundant love for Jesus: “She was so focused on Him and grateful for what He was to her that she didn’t pay attention to what others thought.” Oh to be so devoted to Jesus that we can ignore the opinions of others and simply offer ourselves unreservedly to Him! This story has always spoken to me and is becoming more meaningful as I specifically focus on God’s love this year. Thank you for sharing your insights. I always love the way you add to the conversation here. I’m still on a slow down, aiming to rest as much as possible until energy levels are a bit higher. But I aim to try to continue sharing words here as often as God inspires me and I’m able to. Blessings and hugs! 🙂 x

  4. I want to be like Mary. I want to sit at His feet and lavish my love upon Him. He is so worthy of my adoration. Thank you for sharing at Weekend Whispers Joy.

    1. Barbie, these words find an echo in my own heart: ” I want to be like Mary. I want to sit at His feet and lavish my love upon Him.” Amen! Thank you for sharing them and giving me an opportunity to link up with Weekend Whispers. I really value the lovely community that gathers there. Bless you, friend.

    1. June, it warms my heart to think of you reflecting on these words. Mary’s actions are well worth meditating on. Thank you for letting me know they have spoken to you. Blessings and hugs to you, my friend!

  5. Thank you for your words! God created us each uniquely and has an amazing purpose for us. You described it well through your story of the woman with the alabaster jar.

    Blessings upon your weekend!

    1. Thank you for seeing so much in this post, Mary. I agree that we all have “an amazing purpose” to live out as we place our faith and trust in God. I see some of that in the way you help others so beautifully on your blog by sharing your story. May your weekend be blessed with hope for today and for the future!

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