Mary (The Annointing at Bethany)
Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; and John
“And truly I say to you, wherever
Gospel is preached in the whole world, that
which this woman
has done shall be spoken of in memory of her.” (NASB)
Farside Chapel Summary:
Who was this woman? Matthew and Mark give an account of the scene and what transpired, however her name is not mentioned; only John documents her as Mary, sister to Martha. We know from scripture that on another occasion Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening intently and wholeheartedly. Her sister Martha resented Mary not helping in the kitchen while they had guests. Mary's and Martha's priorities were different.
In this instance there were numerous guests, including Jesus, Lasarus, and all of the disciples. While Jesus was talking about the grievous circumstances about to unfold, it seemed that only Mary processed the information adequately. This was reflected in her breaking open a jar of ointment--so expensive that it would usually have been reserved for the annointing of high priests during ceremonial events or in burial preparations of distinguished--wealthy--citizens. She used it all to annoint the head and feet of Jesus! We do not know how Mary acquired the expensive ointment. We learn that it's value was a year's wages according to the standard of living at that time. Everyone in the room thought what she did was wasteful; no one understood her
priorities; there were discussions amongst them about how the ointment could have been sold and the monies distributed to the poor.
The response of Jesus to these accusations is deeply moving. To paraphrase, he said, the poor you will have with you always, but the son of man will leave you soon and return to His Father who sent Him. Here is Jesus, God incarnated in human flesh; acting in perfect obedience to the will of His father who sent him to become a living sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin; to take upon himself the ultimate penalty of death; to deliver the human race from hell and damnation.
Of all those listening to the message of Jesus, only Mary understood the depth of what he was about to do. God the Father must have placed this burden upon Mary's heart; she annointed for burial the head and feet of God's only begotten Son.
John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life."