Summary: Jesus Anointed at Bethany. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). The Religious Leaders (vs 1-2)

(2). The Woman (vs 3)

(3). The Critics (vs 4-5)

(4). The Lord (vs 6-7)

(5). The Traitor (vs 10-11)



• Two brothers were alone in the kitchen.

• Before them on the table was a huge bowl of eggs.

• The older one said "I’ll give you £1 if you let me break three of these eggs on your head".

• "Do you promise?" asked the younger brother.

• "I promise with all my heart!" said the older brother.

• With the agreement made he then broke one egg over his brother’s head.

• He then broke a second egg over his brother’s head.

• Standing stiff for fear the gooey mess would get all over him, the little boy asked,

• "When is the third egg coming?"

• "It’s not," replied the brother.

• "If I do that, then it would cost me a £1!"

Sometimes things do not work out the way you have them planned:

• That was certainly true for the People we reads about in this passage;

• (Mark chapter 14 verses 1 to 11).

• The religious leaders and the disciples had one idea of what was acceptable;

• But Jesus and this woman had a very different idea of what was appropriate.

I want to divide the story under five headings:


Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.

2 But not during the Feast, they said, or the people may riot.


• I may have told you before about the humours birthday card;

• That on one occasion I was going to send to my wife,

• But I decided that maybe that was not the wisest thing to do!

• The front of the card read: “Darling you are the answer to my prayers!”

• Then on the inside of the card it read:

• “You are not exactly what I prayed for but apparently you are the answer!”

Now Jesus was the answer to the prayers of every Jewish person:

• They had faithfully prayed that God would send the Messiah;

• Only when he appeared they failed to realise it!

• Because he did not fit their depiction of what the Messiah should be!


• They wanted a political Messiah;

• Who would destroy their Romans oppressors;

• And set up God’s kingdom on earth,

• Sadly they failed to understand;

• That the Messiah would destroy a far greater enemy than Rome;

• He would defeat humanities greatest enemies - sin, death & the devil himself!

• And the kingdom of God would be evidenced as he reigns in the life of his followers.

The religious leaders (the Priests & teachers of the law):

• Had already to decided to arrest Jesus and kill him.

• Verse 1-2 make this clear.

• But things would not work out the way they planned & hope for;

• They discovered they were unable to arrest Jesus because they ‘feared the people’.

• Because of the popularity of Jesus ;

• These leaders could not risk upsetting the people on this occasion;

• Because if a riot broke out;

• It would cause them many problems with their Roman task-masters.

The Bible clearly teaches that death of Jesus would not be determined by human beings

• When these religious people;

• Or on other occasions when an angry crowd wanted to kill Jesus;

• We are told that they could not.

• Either circumstances seemed to prevent them;

• Or we are told that ‘He passed through them because his time had not come’.

• The Bible clearly teaches again and again;

• That a greater force was at work preventing them arresting & killing Jesus.

• That timing of the death of Jesus would not be determined by human beings;

• But by God!

• The timing and the way Jesus would be arrested and killed;

• Would be in accordance with the plan of God.

• We call it a Plan because through the death of Jesus our salvation was purchased!


• A church recently received personal greetings from the Kejave Medical Centre staff;

• Which is a mission hospital in Kenya.

• It contained the following story.

• Eight-year-old Monica fell into a pit,

• The fall broke her leg and she laid helplessly at the bottom of the pit unable to get out.

• An older woman, Mama Njeri,

• Happened to go along the same path;

• She saw the girl in distress and climbed into the pit to help get Monica out.

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