Summary: Message about Mary’s sacrifice of expensive perfume to anoint Jesus before His death.
Perfume on a Guy?
June 14, 2009
Me: Most of you know that my wife and I lived in Colorado Springs, CO, for two years, just after we got married.
We worked for The Navigators, which is a missions organization that I was involved with while I was in college.
We were part of a training program called The Leadership Development Institute, and along with our studies, we worked for the Navigators in their conference center, Glen Eyrie.
I worked in the bookstore, and because it was such a public spot, I got to meet a lot of people, including some famous authors.
But there was one young lady named Linda who was a friend of my supervisor at the bookstore.
Linda was a very friendly person, and one of those huggers. You know the kind of person I’m talking about, right?
They hug you when they first meet you and they hug you every time they see you after that.
And that’s fine. I’m not one of those, particularly, but Linda was.
The day I met Linda, she hugged me. And when I went home, my wife knows immediately that I had hugged a woman because she could smell Linda’s perfume on me.
I didn’t even know I smelled, but there it was.
Thankfully, my wife liked the perfume, and she contacted this lady to see what it was so she could get some herself.
God: In our passage today, we find Jesus getting perfume poured on Him by a lady who loved and admired Him.
And she did it for a specific purpose that we’re going to talk about as we look at this episode of Jesus’ life just days before He was crucified.
We’re going to work our way through this passage that Matthew puts between two narratives about the final plot to have Jesus arrested and killed.
My plan is to look at those next week, but let me just give you a bit of context for our passage today.
First, the plans of the religious leaders talked about in the first five verses of this chapter take place at the end of the events on Tuesday of what the Christian Church calls Holy Week.
Jesus had just spent the day debating these religious leaders and teaching at the temple.
The religious leaders were fed up with Jesus and as He leaves, decide that He’s got to go. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. He’s toast.
So their question now wasn’t, “What should we do with this guy?” it was, “When do we make our move?”
Then in verses 14-16, we find Judas going to these guys, probably the next day, and offering to betray Jesus.
This passage we’re looking at today, however, actually took place a few days before – on the previous Saturday.
John puts the events in the correct chronological order, but Matthew, following his pattern of sometimes grouping things together based on certain themes he wanted to stress, puts this between the parts about the plot to kill Jesus and Judas’ agreeing to turn Him over to them.
It’s kind of like a sandwich. The first part of the chapter is the first piece of bread – you can decide whether it’s the yummy white bread or the “break your teeth on the seeds” whole grain or whole wheat, or whole whatever.
The Judas part is the other piece of bread, and this section we’re looking at today is the peanut butter.
Some of you are thinking peanut butter and jelly, but we’re only talking about one section here, not two. So it’s peanut butter. You can make it jelly if you want.
My point here is that Matthew has a point in putting this passage between the other two. We’re going to talk about that a little later, but for now, let’s start working our way through the passage.
We’re going to look at a few verses at a time, and I’ll give you some things to keep in mind as we do that, okay?
Matthew 26:6-13 (p. 703) –
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
This is not the same anointing recorded in Luke. That anointing was done by a woman who had led a sinful life, during a meal at the home of Simon the Pharisee in Galilee.
This one is done by a woman that the gospel of John identifies as Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, in the home of a guy called Simon the Leper, in Bethany.
Apparently this Simon had been cured of leprosy, or he wouldn’t have been able to be around people, much less invite have a home in the city and host banquets.