Summary: Mary finds herself in a situation where Jesus is present and she wants to somehow show her love to Him. She knows in the Spirit that she will never have this opportunity again. Mary Loves Jesus and wants to demonstrate her love to him some way. Whatev
Story of Jesus anointed at Bethany Mark 14:1-9
(1) The Situation
(2) The Condemnation
(3) The Commendation
Mark is bringing to our attention the events of the last week that Jesus spends in Jerusalem just before His arrest, trial & crucifixion.
Its also Passion Week & the days of the Passover & the feast of Unleavened Bread are only a couple of days away. If there were calendars hanging in Jewish kitchens in the 1st Century they would have these days circled in red.
It’s a time of celebration. There is a festive spirit in the air. The Passover could only be celebrated in Jerusalem so thousands of people have poured into the city from the surrounding villages and regions beyond.
There is singing in the streets – banners waving & instruments playing – Shops are closed and business has ceased as everyone is getting ready to celebrate the holiday.
The festive spirit was contagious. But not everyone was waving banners and celebrating.
A chief priests and scribes are planning an execution. They are putting the final touches on a plot that would lead to the death of Jesus. Today we would call it a conspiracy.
While the city was preoccupied with celebration, singing, and laughing, these religious leaders were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill Him.
Mark makes it clear that the reason the religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus was because they had been trying to pose as God’s men but when Jesus taught He exposed them for their hypocrisy and so they were motivated by a sense of threat to their own position.
A scene change in verse 3
In sharp contrast to the Hatred of Jesus by the religious leaders Mark gives us the account of an expression of Love that is taking place a few KLM down the road in a modest home in a place called Bethany. We need to read the account of John 12 & Matthew 26 to get a look at the complete guest list at dinner that is taking place in the home of a man know as Simon the leper.
The meal must have been wonderful and the conservation enjoyable.
Everyone is sitting around relaxing and enjoying the fellowship that they were having.
MARY IS ABSENT
But if we look closely we notice that someone is absence. It’s Mary.
Mary finds herself in a situation where Jesus is present and she wants to somehow show her love to Him. She knows in the Spirit that she will never have this opportunity again.
Mary Loves Jesus and wants to demonstrate her love to him some way. Whatever she does will probably seem small and insignificant compared to Martha and her gift of helps. After all it was Martha who had prepared the delicious meal. What would she do?
Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you wanted to do something for God to show your love and appreciation but not sure just what to do?
Doing Christians are the Devil’s greatest enemies:
- Satan will tell some that
- They are too young to do something for God
- They are too old to do anything worthwhile
- Their contribution will be too small to do any good
- They have to power or influence
- He will say that they have no gifts or talents
- They have no opportunities
- People will not understand their motives and therefore they might embarrass themselves
But Mary is motivated by LOVE
So she disappears and then returns with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, comes over to where Jesus is reclining perhaps on a couch beside the table, breaks the top off the jar and begins to pour the contents of the bottle over the head of Jesus. Then to the amazement of everyone she poured the last of the perfume onto the feet of Jesus.
John’s account tells us that Mary then let down her hair, and began to use her long hair as a wash cloth to wipe the feet of Jesus and that the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
What an explosive act!….What extravagance!
Some of those present began to say to one another “Why this waste of perfume?”
Those present that day couldn’t believe what she had done. Mary didn’t just dip her finger in the bottle and wipe a little here and there but rather she broke it and poured it all out.
John’s account says that it was Judas who led the charges of rebuke. Is anyone surprised?
“It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor”
This was not cheap perfume but pure nard. It was very expensive. Over a year’s wages. Consider with me how much money you make in a year? What is your gross salary and benefits? Now add approximately three months to that, because what she offered was more than a year’s wages.