Jn.12:1,2 – Therefore, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they made Him a dinner there, and Martha was serving; and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.
The first image that pops into my head when I imagine this scene is the celebration that is coming very soon, you know the one, the day we will be raised to life with Christ and seated with Him at the wedding feast with Christ. Here is how Musculus sees this passage.
“Consider here how wonderful and splendid this banquet was. Christ and Lazarus were at the same table, the one who raises a man dead for four days, and the man who was raised after being dead for four days. And lift up your mind to the heavenly dinner in heaven where Christ, the raiser of all the dead, will sit at the table together with the faithful who have been raised by him.”
Next I begin to wonder why Mary went to such an extreme in this worship of the Lord. The only answer was that she had a revelation of His approaching death that the others had not seen yet. Christ died to save sinners, Mary got it, her sins were washed away by His coming crucifixion. How would Mary respond, she would give herself to Him in worship. This is how Erasmus describes this worship.
“Mary burned with a singular love for the Lord because of his many kindnesses, and especially the recent kindness extended to her brother. So she came to that banquet and poured on the head of Jesus, who was reclining at the table, a great quantity of precious fragrant oil, made from fine nard, a full pound’s worth. So much oil was poured out that its fragrance filled the entire house. The woman’s love, a love that is unheard of, was not content with this. She bathed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.”
For those who could not see why Jesus had come Mary was wasting her extravagant gift, for Mary there was no other response, she wanted to give her best, her everything on Jesus. After all, He had given her everything, His anointing was more precious than her costly gift. Mary had become a picture of New Testament worship, we too want to wash His feet with our tears.