Summary: Mary anoints Jesus' feet
Lent - No One will ever forget
Proustian Memory - The power of smell to trigger memory -
Burning leaves - fresh mowed grass - the Fair French fries - elephant ears - sausage & onions
Jerusalem during any festival was filled with smells. Venders selling food, animals for sacrifice, crowds. Overall - good memories - like the fair
This year - a new smell would fill the air.
Everywhere Rabbi Jesus walked, the aroma of incredibly expensive perfume would abound.
As he taught in the Temple courts, as he drove money-changers from the Temple, as he walked the dusty roads back and forth to Bethany each night - every day for 6 days - Jesus would smell RICH! And everyone near him would be reminded of today's story from John chapter 12 -
John 12:1-11 Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages. " 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7 "Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."
9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.
All four gospels tell the story of Jesus being anointed. All except Luke have it take place Passover week. The stories details are often mixed. Let’s look at similarities and differences.
Matthew and Mark have Jesus stating the this woman will be known for what she did, but they don't mention her name. Only John mentions her name. Mary (lots of Marys are in the N.T)
All mention container of expensive perfume
Matt & Luke - no mention of name brand - Mark & John- pure nard (Nepal, China Himalayas)
How was Jesus Anointed? Matt & Mark - Jesus' head
Luke - stands behind Jesus she wept on his feet wiped tears with hair - anointed with perfume
John - poured perfume on Jesus' feet - wiped with hair.
Comments by onlookers - Matt. Mark & John “why the waste?”
Mark - “some present” were indignant Matt. - disciples - John - names the disciple as Judas
Luke - Simon the host wonders “Why does Jesus let this woman near him?”
Only in Luke is the story about forgiveness - only in Luke does Jesus teach a parable
Therefore, I think that the story in Luke is not the same as the story in Matt. Mark and John.
1. It takes place earlier in Jesus' ministry - not connected with burial or Passion week
2. The woman is overwhelmed with grace - Jesus is teaching on forgiveness
3. In medieval times - this “sinful woman” associated with Mary Magdalene
4. Only Luke tells that Mary of Magdalene was a woman Jesus cast out demons, if it was the same woman spoken of just a few verses earlier, Luke would have drawn the connection
5. It remains a possibility that the stories are the same - but Luke uses the story to teach on forgiveness rather than outrageous worship.
6. Matt. Mark and John all mention that this was done in connection with his burial.
In every example - Jesus rebukes
When stuff - money - valuables become more important than people - we are messed up
When stuff - money - valuables become more important than GOD - we are simply LOST
Priorities - not that the poor don't matter What’s here matters most
“You’ll always have the poor with you - You won’t always have me”
Sounds unlike Jesus - sounds harsh - but it is true
#1 in the devotion list must always be the proper worship of God.
Extravagant worship - when people worship God with purity and abandon, it’s beautiful!