Summary: The woman with the alabaster box demonstrates a lesson in extravagant giving.
A This account is found in 3 gospels (Matthew, Mark, & John) and from the three we see the story unfold with greater detail.
1 Jesus is in Bethany, the house of Simon the Leaper (Jn. 14.3), apparently whom Jesus had healed. (Leapers were unclean)
a There at least 17 people at this meal.
aa Simon, Lazuris, Mary, Martha, 12 dis. & Jesus)
bb Mark 14.3, tells us Mary brought an alabaster box of perfume.
b The jar of perfume is significant for several reasons.
aa Alabaster is a marble like stone that was used to make jars, vases, containers and interestingly enough . . . caskets.
bb The lid of the box/jar would have been sealed with a wax so as to not allow any of the contents to spill or scent to escape until the right time.
c The perfume in the jar was very expensive (liquid gold)
aa 12 ounces of Spikenard (Made from extract of the nard plant, most commonly grown in India.)
bb Worth 300 denarii (A laborers or soldiers yearly wages.)
cc Jn. 6.7, tells us it would have cost 200 denarii to buy lunch for 5,000 people.
dd Modern money, this alabaster jar of nard is valued at approximately $25,000. ($2,100 an ounce)
2 Every time we see Mary in the NT (3x’s) she is at Jesus feet.
b She is at feet as she breaks the wax seal on the alabaster box and begins to pour its contents over Jesus’ head & feet.
3 Matt 26.12, It was customary in Jesus day to wash a dead body prior to burial.
a Then body is sprinkled with perfumes & spices & wrapped in a scented cloth so mourners could grieve over a body w/o being knocked with the smell of decaying flesh.
b These are parts of a buriel Jesus would not get because the timing of His death. (Hours before sunset/workless Sabbath)
aa Jesus is at His own wake.
bb His body is covered with the sweet smelling perfume of Spikenard.
B Waste (gk. Apoleia) means destructive, ruined, destroy, perish.
1 Also is able to be spiritually defined.
a IL. I could have had a V-8. (Wasted, blew opputunity)
b State after death wherein exclusion from salvation is a realized fact.
aa Instead of becoming what he/she might have been in heaven, is forever lost & ruined.
bb The moment after someone dies that they realize they will never be saved.
cc Hell is there’s forever when they could have had heaven!
2 Waste? How could they such a thing?
a A woman who has seen brokeness, endured betrayal, rejected, used up, lied to, robbed, sweet talked, abandoned comes to Jesus in worship.
aa Worship is never wasted!
bb That only that matters is worship, Praise Ye the Lord.
b When you get saved, you are filled w/ the Holy Spirit/ sealed up in you!
aa I believe every time we gather to worship we should break the seal and pour some out!
bb Let Him get a good whiff of our worship (Everybody likes to smell their own brand!)
c I’ll tell you what is waste . . .
aa Singing about the God that cannot fail, calms the troubled waters, Grace that cleanses sins and never being moved by God. (That’s a waste!)
bb To think your too educated, formal, refined, sophisticated to lift your hands in worship. (That’s a waste)
cc Build to nice building, carpet, pews, house of worship and never have a shout of praise or whisper of worship. (That’s a waste)
d You were created to worship, praise, glorify, magnify Him. Everything else is a waste!
3 As the perfume filled the air with worship, the enemy filled the air w/ accusations.
a Judas caused a stink because the money was being “wasted.” (BTW, Judas was the sticky-fingered treasurer of the disciples.)
aa Saw the $25k bottle of cologne put on Jesus all he could see was money he could have spent differently.
bb He had a spiritual argument: “We could have used it on the poor people.” Jn. 12.5 (VERY Jewish, especially during feasts)
cc Many time, those with a spiritual argument have a spiritual arrogance that flies in the face of spiritual adoration.
b Judas called Mary’s worship a waste when he was actually the one wasting.
aa Disciple, in the ministry, walked with the master, could have been used to spread the Gospel, early church, Pentecost . . . blew his shot.
bb John 17.12, “ . . . son of perdition” (apoleia) Son of destruction, waste.
cc He could have had it all but wasted his opportunity.
b As you pour out your worship, lavish love on the Lord it will trigger and cause Judas to manifest in your life.