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When The Giver Receives

“Mary picked up a jar of extremely costly perfume and she anointed Jesus’ feet.”

John 12:3

Most of us do well with caring for others yet sometimes proudly put their needs ahead of our own, denying what our soul truly longs for. We become imbalanced, thinking our giving is the only way to achieve good in the world.

What would your life look like if you learned to receive better?

Jesus is about to embark upon his final journey to Jerusalem, his final act of giving here on this earth. He is going to the cross and Mary senses it. We underestimate what her thoughtfulness, her care means to Jesus, as she lavishly pours expensive perfume over his body. Her acknowledgement of who Jesus is and what He is about to step into offers Him comfort and strength.

And Jesus receives it fully. The Greatest Giver of all allowed extravagant love to be poured over Him.

Mary views Jesus’ life as sacred, understanding the ways of God at a deeper level than others at the dinner table that night. Some argued this extravagance should not be wasted on this Helper. Yet Jesus allows Himself to feel comfort, intimacy and affection. Her act is a confirmation to Jesus that He is walking in the Father’s timing. “She has saved it for the time of my burial.” John 12:7

Givers, we sadly miss out if we fail to follow Jesus’ example here and refuse to receive when others see our life as sacred.

Maybe it is because we don’t view our lives as sacred.

Refusing help, intimacy and generosity from others is really refusing all of these things from God! It can be as simple as receiving a compliment, receiving help with a menial task, or receiving grace when we are tired and need a break.

When I feel resentful of giving to the needs around me, it is usually because I have not allowed God or others to comfort and bless me first! Resisting God’s invitations of silence, solitude and community leads to a weak soul and a weak ministry. The Father prompted Mary to give boldly and generously to His Son that day, helping Jesus finish his assignment. And He will prompt people to do the same for you!

Jesus—Open my eyes to how I can receive better from You and others today.

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