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Jesus anointed
Bible Passage Mark 14: 1- 9
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2024 & book Mark.

Jesus anointed

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached March 26, 2024

1 Now it was two days before the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The high priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus secretly and to have him put to death,

2 because they kept saying, “This must not happen during the festival. Otherwise, there’ll be a riot among the people.”

3 While Jesus was in Bethany sitting at the table in the home of Simon the leper, a woman arrived with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume made from pure nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

4 Irritated, some who were there asked one another, “Why was the perfume wasted like this?

5 This perfume could have been sold for more than 300 denarii and the money given to the destitute.” So they got extremely angry with her.

6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing for me,

7 because you’ll always have the destitute with you and can help them whenever you want, but you won’t always have me.

8 She has done what she could. She poured perfume on my body in preparation for my burial.

9 I tell all of you with certainty, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

The Passover was only two days away, and Jesus knew its significance to His coming death. Israelites kept the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread as an annual week-long festival in commemoration of ancient Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. God ‘passed over’ those houses where a lamb had been sacrificed in the place of those under judgment (Exodus 12:1-13).

People in Jerusalem were excited as the festival approached. The chief priests therefore planned to wait until it was finished before arresting Jesus, as they did not want to be responsible for a riot. The important priests had decided that Jesus should die, but they did not know how to take Him away from the crowds. During each day, large crowds listened while Jesus taught them. So these priests needed to know where Jesus was by night.

When Judas came to them and offered to betray Jesus to them, their task was made easier. Judas could advise them of Jesus’ movements so that they could arrest Him quietly without the people knowing (Matt 26:14-16).

Within the week, Jesus commuted between Jerusalem and Bethany. At Bethany, Jesus was anointed at Bethany by a woman in the home of Simon the leper. This may have been the anointing recorded earlier by John and could have been put into the story at this point to contrast the loving devotion of a true believer with the violence and treachery of others. If the accounts refer to the same occasion, Simon the Leper must have been the owner of the house where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived. Possibly he was their father (Matt 26:6-13; John 12:1-8).

Some disciples thought that Jesus would be angry because the woman poured an expensive gift on Jesus’ feet. The cost of the perfume was equivalent to a year’s wage. The disciples were not rich men. They knew that the gift was expensive. They wanted to use the money so that they could help poor people and thought that the woman had wasted her gift.

But the woman did not waste her gift, according to Jesus. She had a short time to show her love to Jesus. She showed that she loved Jesus completely. Soon Jesus would die. But this woman had prepared Jesus for her death. It was right to give an expensive gift because Jesus is a king. And the woman had to give it before Jesus’ death. The women would not have the time to give these gifts to Jesus after His death (Mark 16:1-8).

🔷 We must honour God with the most important things always

🔷 We must prioritize our work and put God first, ahead of all other things

💥 Pray that God shall accept your sacrifice

While the chief priests and the scribes planned to secretly arrest Jesus, the woman publicly honoured Him. Our actions today would be seen and judged by God Himself. Even when people criticize you wrongly, God knows your heart.

In series Bright Morning Reflections