We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


John 12: Anointing Oil

I always knew when my great aunt had come for a visit–her perfume seemed to linger in our house for days! In fact, before she was ten feet from the door, I knew she was coming. It was so strong that even a bloodhound would be overwhelmed! As they say in the south, “bless her heart!”

Would you believe it if I told you that my aunt’s perfuming ritual is found in the Bible? When the prophet Samuel anointed David, and when Solomon was anointed king, the oil used in each of these ceremonies was significant because the powerful fragrance was symbolic of an important event or person.

Centuries later, another King would be anointed with oil–His name is Jesus. He was anointed, not by a prophet, but by a woman who poured very costly and fragrant oil upon him. In fact, in John 12 we read: “The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.” Directly afterwards, Jesus rode on a donkey as the people shouted, “Hosanna: Blessed be the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

You see, the fragrant anointing oil celebrated the presence of an important person and event about to take place. The lingering fragrance would have been an invisible reminder of his royalty and his majestic character. That is why, in the first book of Corinthians, we read, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”

Brothers and sisters, today we are the anointing oil. We need to be the lingering fragrance of the knowledge of Christ so that when people interact with us, they are left with a sweet and powerful reminder that they have just encountered a heavenly royalty delivered through an earthen vessel–a fragrance that will last long after we’ve departed.

Published in: on December 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm  Leave a Comment