Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’ When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus. (John 12:1-11, NRSV)
a denarius was worth a days wages. So this bottle of perfume was worth a years wage. The current minimum wage in Wisconsin is $7.25 an hour. If we assume a 40 hour work week, that is $290 a week or $15,080 a year. So this bottle of perfume in 2014 wages would be about $15,000!
Now I can not image a bottle of perfume that would cost that much! I also can not image trying to put a price on what Jesus did for me, actually it is priceless, or it cost His life!
You see we will always have work to do in the vineyard. There will always be poor, widows,orphans, and those who are in need and are ones we as the body need to care for. But here in this passage is telling us that we also have to take the time to praise and worship Jesus.
That is really what Mary is doing, by anointing Him, she is worshiping Him. We need to take the time to worship and praise and wash the feet of our savior! We need to worship Him!