Concerning Mary using her hair to wipe Jesusí feet in John 12:3,
Bible Commentators R. C. Lenski and A. T. Robertson use the words
"indecent" and "immodest" to describe how others would
have viewed Maryís actions. For convenience sake a woman tied her long
hair back in those days. The untying of her
hair in public was morally inappropriate and was reserved for the privacy
of her husband.
I believe the context shows us that the Mary spoken of in John 12 was
Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Some scholars suggest that this was
Mary Magdalene who they claim was once a prostitute, thus sheíd find it
easy untying her hair in front of men. I say this to show you the
perceived nature of Maryís action.
Mary was a woman of passionate expression which she exhibited at the
feet of Jesus. She was not being morally lose, and she was not flirting
with Jesus. This was a heart felt moment of true worship. As R. C. Lenski
says, "she was laying down her honour" before her Lord. She was
giving herself to Jesus in a pure sense of the word, and it didnít
matter to her how people viewed her actions.
This didnít bother Jesus either. He wasnít embarrassed but accepted
her gesture of loving worship. He actually rebuked Judas and told him to
stop bugging Mary about what she did. Itís ironic to note that Judas was
bothered by Maryís expression of love but used a similar expression when
he betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
The point Iíd like to make is that worship is an intimate experience
between us and Jesus. It is "spiritual intimacy", and Maryís
action is a clear example of what I mean. Worship is more than singing
hymns or chapping hands on a Sunday morning. It is a time of spiritual
union between us and Jesus.
The Greek word "proskuneo" that is translated as worship in
the N. T. means to "kiss towards". Kissing is normally an
expression of love and affection that one feels towards another and is not
necessarily sexual. True worship is in fact kissing Jesus in a spiritual
We need to see worship with the same understanding that Mary had. Thereís
all sorts of different expressions of worship because we are all
individually different. Whatever our expression of worship looks like, it
should be intimate, and the Holy Spirit has to be involved. We canít
worship without Him.
The next time youíre in a Christian gathering and you are asked to
stand and worship, think about what worship is. Forget about those around
you. Loose yourself in intimate and affectionate worship with Jesus. As
Mary lost herself in this precious moment with Jesus, so loose yourself in
like fashion. If my analogy of intimacy offends you, read the Song of
Solomon and consider what I have said about true worship.