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Leave Her Alone

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | June 17, 2024 | John 12:7-8


“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.” John 12:7 (NIV)



In John 12:7-8, Jesus defends Mary’s devotion when He says, “Leave her alone.”  This passage highlights the importance of recognizing and respecting sincere worship and devotion. Mary’s anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume profoundly expressed her love and gratitude. Judas Iscariot criticized her, claiming the money could have been used for the poor. However, Jesus understood the deeper significance of her act. He saw her heart and knew that her actions were motivated by genuine love and devotion, not wastefulness.


Jesus’ response, “Leave her alone,” teaches us several important lessons on the value of sincere devotion; discerning priorities, and recognizing Jesus’ presence. Genuine acts of worship and love should be cherished and respected, even if everyone does not understand them. Mary’s act expressed her deep gratitude and recognition of Jesus’ impending sacrifice. While caring for the poor is crucial, Jesus reminds us that there are moments when worshipping and honouring Him take precedence. This does not diminish the importance of helping others but highlights the unique and sacred moments of worship that must be cherished. Jesus points out the fleeting nature of His physical presence among them. This emphasizes the importance of seizing opportunities to worship and honour Him fully, understanding that certain moments are irreplaceable.



How do you express your gratitude and worship towards Jesus through your actions and words? If we are extreme in our love for Jesus, He will not criticize us; that was what Judas did. It is much better to be like Mary - extreme in our love for Jesus than to be like Judas - criticizing others who show such great love for Jesus.


Heavenly Father, thank you for Mary's example of sincere devotion. Help me value genuine worship and recognize your presence in my life. Teach me to cherish worship moments and balance my love for you with caring for others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.





DAILY word study: LEAVE HER ALONE The phrase "leave her alone" combines the verb ἄφες (aphes), meaning "allow," "permit," or "let go," and the pronoun αὐτήν (autēn), meaning "her." Jesus’ command to “leave her alone” highlights His recognition of Mary’s act as both timely and meaningful. This defence contrasts sharply with Judas' hypocritical concern for the poor, revealing his true intentions. By validating Mary's actions, Jesus underscores the importance of recognizing and honouring acts of true devotion and worship. This moment encapsulates the broader theological theme of sacrificial love and the anticipation of Jesus' ultimate sacrifice. Jesus' affirmation teaches that true worship involves understanding and responding to God's greater plan, even when it defies conventional logic or social expectations.

Reflections Consider how you might sometimes misjudge others' actions due to personal biases or misunderstandings. How can you better honour and support expressions of faith and devotion in your community?

𝔹𝔸ℙ𝕋𝕀𝕊𝕋 Daily Devotional | AUDIO VERSION | JUNE 17, 2024

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