The scene took place in Bethany at the home of Simon—in the Bible he's called "Simon the Leper," perhaps because Jesus had healed him of that horrible disease. At any rate, he was giving a dinner party for Jesus just days before Jesus would give His life on the cross. We don't have the entire guest list, but we know that Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, were present, along with at least some of the disciples, including Judas.
All at once the guests became aware of a wonderful fragrance filling the room. They recognized it was nard, a very costly perfume from India. Mary was liberally anointing Jesus' head and feet with this scent that cost a year's wages—an extravagant gift.
Judas harshly criticized her. "Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold...and the money given to the poor" (Mark 14:4-5). John tells us he didn't say this because he cared about the poor but because as treasurer he used to help himself to what was put into the money bag. But Jesus commended her extravagant gift with these words:
"Leave her alone....Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.... She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her" (Mark 14:6-9).
Do you see that Mary went beyond obedience to extravagance? From her heart she poured out a very costly gift that became a memorial of her love for centuries to come—in fact, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world.
We cannot give God anything He needs. He owns everything already. But we can give Him something He wants—and that is the love of our hearts.
Have you ever given Him something extravagant simply because you love Him so much? It's something to think about.