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Proximity Reveals Personality

With just a few days to go until the crucifixion, Jesus was maximizing time with those close to him - Simon, the one he had healed from leprosy, Lazarus, the one he’d raised from the dead, Mary, Martha, the disciples, including Judas the soon to be betrayer…

Whenever people got close to Jesus, he invoked in them a deep response. Some took offense, some despised him, and some responded in gratitude and worship. There didn’t seem to be any middle ground when people got close to him.

Mary took an incredibly expensive jar of fragrance and lavishly poured it on Jesus, a picture of her extravagant devotion. As the beautiful scent filled the room, Judas snarled “What a waste!", because he was thinking of what he might be able to do with all the money he could skim off the top if they sold the fragrance instead. A few moments later, he headed out and sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver.

Jesus said Mary would be remembered for her devotion wherever the gospel was preached. We remember Judas for his greed and betrayal.

Both of them were close to Jesus. Yet they responded in completely different ways. One was overcome with selfless devotion (Mary), and the other was driven by selfish desires (Judas). Judas' pretense of caring for the poor was a thin veil of his greedy personality, almost clandestine - hence this day becoming known as "Spy Wednesday".

Jesus went to the cross and overcame death to remove all barriers that kept people from being able to get close to God. The only way to be close to God is open, and it’s through Jesus.

Now, like then, whenever someone gets close to Jesus, he demands a response. Proximity to Jesus reveals personality. That response can either be selfless devotion and worship like Mary, or selfish desires like Judas.

What will your response be?



When you draw near to Jesus, what happens in your heart?


Holy Spirit, would you show me the things in my heart that need to be dealt with and laid down, so that I can express unhindered and extravagant devotion? Forgive me for thinking that any time or resources given to you are wasteful because you are deserving of more than I can ever offer! May my worship of you be like the fragrance that Mary used!

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