The story of Mary breaking a jar of perfume and anointing Jesus at Bethany in John 12:3, is as much a cliché to many as much as it is enthralling! It’s akin to those tight lipped society aunties who shake their heads disapprovingly, looking down on young couples giggling and walking down in the rain, huddled under one umbrella, holding hands. But it only takes those who’ve felt the scintillation of love to know those gestures mean so much to the one you adore.
For Mary, this was the true form of worship. She wasn’t merely impressed by the personality of Jesus, the miracle man whom the world followed for benefits. She was in love with the person of Jesus. Sitting at His feet, letting go off of her inhibitions and fears, forgetting her rights and wrongs was so natural to her. That’s exactly why she never offered services to Him for What He was, but Worship, for Who He was.
For Mary, she had a new revelation of Jesus. When the crowds followed Him only till the fireworks lasted, Mary pursued Him to know His heart. She communed with Him and had a personal relationship with Him.
Above all, for Mary, she had been forgiven much! Scholars still debate whether the prostitute in Luke 7:37 is the same woman Mary in John 12:3, with other translations of it mentioned in Matthew 26:7 and Mark 14:3. But I believe they both were the same person, and so, Mary the immoral woman (as the world would term her) knew the measure and intensity of Jesus’ love for her to have overlooked her dark, hidden, slimy side.
For the gospel writer in John 12:3, the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But for Jesus, it was the aroma of true Worship that He took in.