A gift of Memorial
Matthew 26:6-7 “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.”
Mark 14:3 “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.”
In two days was the feast of the passover. Jesus was in a friend’s house with His disciples, when a woman (she is named as Mary, Lazarus’ sister in John 12:3) came and poured very costly ointment upon Jesus’ head, and feet, and wiped them with her hair.)
There were several reactions to this. (When anything happened concerning Jesus, there were always several reactions, depending on whether you were a believer or not.)
For Judas, the betrayer, the reaction was greed. Don’t pour the ointment on Jesus head; but sell it. The poor was the pretense, but the bag was the reality for him.
John 12:4-6 “Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.”
In Mark the reaction was from “some”:
Mark 14:4-5 “And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.”
Indignation? For an offering of love to Jesus?
Yes, it was “within themselves”, but Jesus was worth so much more.
Judas had planted a thought that they took hold of. Shame on the “some”.
In Matthew, all the disciples, are indignant! Such is the power of suggestion!
Matthew 26:8-9 “But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.”
Indignant means anger over something unjust or mean.
And they were indignant over giving to Jesus?
Yes, the poor are to be seen to; but no comparison to Jesus.
Also, Jesus, Himself would have corrected the woman if it had been “unjust”.
How much we are influenced by the world’s attitudes, only the Holy Spirit can show us.
They had been with Jesus for a while, almost three years, yet thought this act of devotion and worship, “waste”.
It is plain that the idea came from Judas, voicing his anger at this woman giving Jesus this expensive gift; but the disciples should have realized their mistake.
Yet, let us hear what Jesus said about it:
Mark 14:6-9 “And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me.
For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
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.”
This was some honor, for a woman harassed by these men; wherever the Gospel shall be preached, she will be recognized for this act of devotion.
Jesus said plainly; “She hath done what she could.” It is something that I would like to hear from the Lord Jesus one day.
She hath done what she could. This was very expensive ointment, and she poured it all out on Jesus.
Our attitude toward what we, and others do for the Lord Jesus, needs to be like this:
That we will do what we can for Him.
How many can say that? I know I have failed many times, and been as the disciples here. Going along with the attitude of the world, where Jesus is concerned.
Maybe she did not even understand what He said.
But what a joy on Resurrection Day, when she realized that she was the only one who was able to anoint Him for burying!
Love knows no boundaries, except those set by the Lord.
Love excepts all.
How grateful we should be that the Lord excepts us, and our “ointment”.
Are we as this woman?
“She hath done what she could.”