Wednesday, April 6, 2022
6-9 When Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper, a woman came up to him as he was eating dinner and anointed him with a bottle of very expensive perfume. When the disciples saw what was happening, they were furious. “That’s criminal! This could have been sold for a lot and the money handed out to the poor.”
10-13 When Jesus realized what was going on, he intervened. “Why are you giving this woman a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives, but not me. When she poured this perfume on my body, what she really did was anoint me for burial. You can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she has just done is going to be remembered and admired.”
-Matthew 26:6-13 The Message
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
Verse 6: Now, when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,
Verse 7: a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at the table.
Verse 7 study: The woman’s name was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who lived in Bethany. (John 12:1-3) Alabaster vials were carved from translucent gypsum. Their jars were used to hold perfumed oils.
Verse 8: And when the disciples saw it, they were resentful, saying, “Why this waste?
Verse 8 study: John’s Gospel singles out Judas Iscariot, but all the disciples were dissatisfied. (John 12:4)
Verse 9: For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”
Verse 10: But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me.
Verse 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.
Verse 11 study: Here, Jesus went back to Deuteronomy 15:11; “The poor will never cease to be in the land.” This statement is not justifying ignoring the needs of the poor. Scripture always calls out to us to care for the needy. The Deuteronomy passage continues: “You shall freely open your hand to your brother to your needy and poor land.” Jesus took a different approach by highlighting Mary’s extraordinary sacrifice for him.
Verse 12: In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial.
Verse 13: Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Verses 6-13 studies: Matthew and Mark put this event just before the Last Supper. Whereas John put it before the Triumphal Entry. Out of all three, John places this event in chronological order. Keep in mind that the primary purpose of the Gospel writers is to give an accurate record of Jesus’ message, not to present a chronological account of his life. Matthew and Mark may have chosen to place this event there to contrast the complete devotion of Mary with the betrayal of Judas, the next record in their Gospels.