Mark 14:3-9, And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. 4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. 6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. 7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. 8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
In the story of Jesus being anointed at Bethany we find so many powerful and practical lessons that could and should be applied to our hearts, lives, and ministries. A few of the most notable are:
(1) Jesus is eating in the home of a leper (14:3) Much could be said here! 🙂
(2) Mary brings a very expensive alabaster box of ointment and breaks it open and pours it on the head of the Lord Jesus (14:3)
(3) This sacrificial act of love was misunderstood by others (14:4-5)
(4) Our Lord came to the defense of the woman and her sacrifice (14:6-9)
(5) Mary did what she could and was praised by the Lord for it (14:8-9)
We can’t do everything, but we can all do something for Jesus. And it all starts as we sit at His feet, worship and adore Him, giving all that we have for Him and His cause in the world. As Bible commentator Warren Weirsbe notes:
This event took place six days before Passover, which would put it on the Friday before the Triumphal Entry (John 12:1). By placing this story between the accounts of the plot to arrest Jesus, Mark contrasted the treachery of Judas and the leaders with the love and loyalty of Mary. The ugliness of their sins makes the beauty of her sacrifice even more meaningful. Neither Mark nor Matthew names the woman, but John tells us that it was Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (John 11:1-2). Mary is found three times in the Gospel story; and each time, she is at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42; John 11:31-32; 12:1-8). Mary had a close fellowship with the Lord as she sat at His feet and listened to His Word. She is a good model for all of us to follow.
Those who are willing to sacrifice their best for Jesus will surely be misunderstood by men, but they will also be memorialized by Christ (Mark 14:3-9)!