Mark 14:3–9 (ESV)
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4 There were some who said to themselves
indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She
has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 And truly, I say to
you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
Jesus was anointed into his ministry through his Baptism. In today’s reading,
Jesus is anointed for his death and burial. Who is the “she”? John tells us the “she” is Mary (as in Mary and Martha). The anointing oil was very expensive, and from Marks’s account (300 denarii), it would be
worth about a years salary. So in today’s time, think of Mary cracking open a bottle of expensive perfume and pouring it over Jesus (a value of $40,000 - $60,000). I guarantee that this would come up in the next church council meeting
and SOMEONE is going to be run over the hot coals. I think that I would be having a cow too! I think most churches would consider $50,000 as a significant amount. When Jesus rebukes them, I personally feel rebuked my self, because I would
have been right there with them and they didn’t know that Jesus was about to die. Being anointed for his burial is not even showing up on the radar. And as a minor prophesy, Jesus is right... we still do talk about this event!
I pray: O Lord, we do not see the full picture of what is happening as you see it. It is so easy for us to get in your way, or find ourselves working against your plan and not even know it. I rejoice
when I am working for you and repent when I am working against you. Please continue to guide me and help me to keep my eyes opened to your will. Amen.