Mark tells us a few days before Jesus’ arrest that Mary, the sister of Martha, also approaches Jesus while He is dining. She pours an entire jar of very expensive perfume over His head. Though she is criticized for such extravagance Jesus commends her for this sacrificial act of devotion. Judas is one of the criticizers yet immediately after Mary’s kiss of devotion Judas arranges for his kiss of disloyalty. A sign of affection now becomes his sign of defection. Judas who was thought a friend now acts the foe.
These are two people who know Jesus intimately and whose actions are noted by observers. As followers of Christ they were among the same number, but not of the same nature. Judas claimed to care about the poor; Mary counted herself among the poor. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Judas wanted power. Mary wanted purity. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” Because of his position people thought Judas was close to Jesus. In his heart He was not. Because of her position people thought that Mary should not be close to Jesus. Because of her heart she was.
Ironically sometimes those chosen by Jesus object to the devoted acts of those drawn to Him. Sometimes what we consider wasteful Jesus considers worshipful. And what we consider worshipful, God considers otherwise.
Consider this; Judas’ kiss evaporated in Gethsemane. Yet as Jesus endured the agony in the garden, betrayal, denial, trial, torture, crucifixion and burial, the fragrance of Mary’s devotion lingered as a sweet reminder that the Father’s plan was being fulfilled. Anyone who came close to Him during the next few days would smell it.
Judas took the bread of betrayal from the hand of Jesus at the Last Supper – Mary sought the Bread of Life at His feet – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – for they will be filled.”