According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, aromatherapy can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy is the use of fragrances to affect or alter a person’s mood or behavior as defined by By the composition of the word, we know it involves the use of fragrances for a treatment or curative process. 

In John 12, we begin to see the first stages of Jesus being honored for His sacrifice albeit unannounced and unrealized by those whom He came to die. Let’s look in.

John 12

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

In Jewish history, the Passover celebrated God sparing Israelite lives while taking the lives of Egyptians. God told the Israelites to spread lambs blood on the door frames/posts of their houses. Those houses were not impacted by the angels who carried out God’s plan in freeing His people. Likewise, Jesus’ incarnation allowed Him to serve as the sacrificial lamb that brings life to all who are covered with the blood of the Lamb.

In our text today, we find Jesus back in Bethany. Remember, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead there. During the dinner that was given by Martha, Mary and Lazarus, we see Aromatherapy being practiced by Mary. In assessing people’s authenticity, we can gauge it by how they spend their time and their money. In this case, we know that Mary and her family really valued Jesus because they gave a dinner which cost money and time. If we really want to gauge one’s commitment, we look at their sacrifices. Mary epitomizes this in this text.

Martha served which was good. Lazarus reclined at the table conveying that he was enjoying himself, but “Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” According to the Reformation Study Bible, Matthew and Mark indicate that she poured some perfume on His head, which would be the common practice. To attend to His feet and wipe them with her hair was a tribute of humility and devotion.

Throughout the Old Testament, we see sacrifices made to God were an aroma pleasing to the Lord. Surrendering our lives in devotion and servitude to Jesus is the greatest sacrifice we could make to God. Like Mary, we would demonstrate humility and devotion by daily, even moment by moment, giving our lives to Christ. 2 Corinthians says, “14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aromaof Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?

Are you willing to surrender your life to Jesus out of humility and devotion for His sacrifice on the cross which provides us the opportunity to commune with God? If you are willing, you will practice Aromatherapy.



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