Sweet Fragrance

Sweetness Poured Forth

The house was filled with the fragrance.

John 12:3 NLT

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.

2 Cor. 2:15 NLT

You meet a Christian with a sweet spirit. You wonder when and where that godly nature was nurtured and developed. You compliment them and ask about their background. In the telling, they describe multiple trials and setbacks. Yet, they did not grow bitter, but better. They walked through their circumstances trusting God’s loving and gracious providence. They refused to believe that God was being unjust to them. They only could see God’s hand glorifying Christ in their midst. They found in their suffering their heart’s desire: more of Jesus. As a result, their character was transformed and a sweet spirit was developed. Their kindness, optimism, and faith rise up as a sweet fragrance of worship to God and an aroma of life to others.

By the breaking of that flask and the anointing of the Lord Jesus, the house was pervaded with the sweetest fragrance (John 12:1). Everyone could smell it and none could be unaware of it. What is the significance of this?

Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered — someone who has gone through experiences with the Lord that have brought limitation, and who, instead of trying to break free in order to be ‘used,’ has been willing to be imprisoned by Him and has thus learned to find satisfaction in the Lord and nowhere else — then immediately you become aware of something.

Immediately your spiritual senses detect a sweet savour of Christ. Something has been crushed, something has been broken in that life, and so you smell the odor. The odor that filled the house that day in Bethany still fills the Church today; Mary’s fragrance never passes. It needed but one stroke to break the flask for the Lord, but that breaking and the fragrance of that anointing abides.

Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life (CLC, 1977).

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