Summary: Mary is remembered as a devoted disciple of Christ. She honored Him by giving her best. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Judas conspired with the religious leaders in betraying Jesus.
An Act of Remembrance
We are headed towards Jerusalem!
33 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again." Mark 10:33-34 (NKJV)
Mark tells the story, not in chronological order, but in a topical style. He relates the direction Jesus is headed in contrast to the direction the religious leader’s desire. The “after two days” may also be a reference to the beginning of the Passover Feasts which was celebrated for a week along with Unleavened Bread. This then would correspond to Matthews account.
1 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death. 2 But they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people."
A Plot of Deception 1-2
Jesus exposed their hypocrisy, their greed and their lust for power. They hated Him because He was a threat to their world and system.
Their decision was unified – deceive Him! δόλος to design by deceit, lure, snare or trap
Their aim was specified – to death! A violent, get rid of Him death.
Their hatred was intensified – ASAP!
Their fears were identified – They feared the people but not God!
3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant (they were bent out of shape; ἀγανακτέω much & curve in the arm) among themselves, and said, "Why was this fragrant oil wasted (useless, ruin ἀπώλεια)? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor." And they criticized (snorting like horses) her sharply. 6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good (beautiful) work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."
A Place of Affection 3-9
Simon’s hospitality (formerly a leper) was an expressive love!
What we were; unclean, unfit, unworthy. We have not been healed, but we have been cleansed.
Lazarus’ festivity (once dead, now alive) was an enjoyable love!
9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus. John 12:9-11
What we have been; dead, decayed, destroyed. But we have been changed!
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Because of Jesus sacrifice, I have become a new creature in Him! I have been reconciled to the Father through Jesus’ work alone!
Mary’s generosity (currently a follower of Jesus) was an extravagant love!
What we are; unashamed, unafraid, unassuming (no pride). She used what she had and it was priceless and precious to her.
“This box is actually a flask. Within that flask was a substance called “spikenard”, or just “nard”. It is a ointment that is drawn from a plant that grows in India. It was a perfume that was used in the embalming process. It was so expensive that only the very wealthy could afford to purchase it. We are told in verse 5 that it was worth “300 pence”. This is a year’s pay for the average worker. In today’s economy, Mary’s gift was worth around $20,000.000. It was an extravagant gift.” Source: www.sermonnotebook.org/mark