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Matthew 26:6-13: Jesus is Anointed

Posted by adventbiblestudy on August 17, 2012


Matthew 26:6-13 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. (7) While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. (8) The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste of money,” they said. (9) “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” (10) But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? (11) You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. (12) She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. (13) I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

 

Jesus knew His time with the disciples was drawing to a close. The prophecies must be fulfilled on time, within God’s perfect timing. The previous day Jesus taught in the temple court, relating many lessons with a common thread, the world will not appreciate the preparation for the harvest. Jesus knew of all the distractions and tricks the devil will play to distract minds and hearts from the task at hand. He knew His own disciples were unprepared for the task ahead. He taught long into the night, warning them of the deceptions ahead, trying to show them how the religious leaders had been deceived. They left their first love, allowing themselves to be drawn away from God, replacing it with a love for themselves, the world and the false glory it offered. Instead of seeking and listening to God’s Spirit, they relied on the preconceived notions of their forefathers, and themselves. Jesus tried to turn them to the scriptures. A few minutes of reading with an open mind and heart would have opened their eyes and hearts to the truth. Pride is a vise, a very difficult cage to escape. This was the reason Jesus kept His disciples up late into the night, trying to get them to understand, to put away the world, its beliefs, traditions, doctrines, and learn to rely totally on God’s Spirit for everything they needed, at the exact moment it is required.

 

It was not by chance Jesus ate at the house of a leper He healed, while the priests plotted His death across town. The gulf they faced in the temple court was widening by the minute. Every detail the priests planned gave them more confidence in their own ability, and less reliance on God. They knew they were at a point beyond God’s realm and guidance. To accomplish their goal they had to rely on their own wits and cunning. To carry out their plot they had to close every door of their heart to the Holy Sprit and ask the devil and his demons to make a permanent home.

 

Jesus hoped the disciples would remember the lesson He taught when He healed the leper. How He sent him to the priests as a testimony. Knowing the priests were plotting to kill Him was evidence they did not consult the scriptures to offer the sacrifice and perform the ceremony for the leper. If they had, they would have known God looks on the lonely leper with the same love and concern He has for the high priest. Jesus could heal the decrepit disease on the outside because the leper believed, but it was up to the priests to accept healing on the inside.

 

Mary stood against the back wall of the house enjoying the shade. She felt a cool breeze engulf her body easing the tension she felt inside. She took a deep breath, prayed the Spirit would guide her, turned and entered through the back door. She took up a new position leaning against the wall nearest the door. She looked around at the servants preparing the meal. Instantly she felt the heat of the kitchen. Her face grew flush as she watched the servants scurrying about, some cooking, others barking out orders, some preparing the finishing touches on the numerous plates prepared for the feast. Seeing a large basket of bread near the edge of a table, Mary moved along the wall, nearer and nearer to the entry leading to the dining room. It seemed no one noticed her. Composing herself, she left the security of the wall, walked to the table, picked up the basket of bread and moved straight to the dining room as if no one could see her.

 

Inside the dining room she walked straight to the table. Laying the basket in the center of the table, she turned slightly and dropped to her knees. The flow of passion she had been holding back for so long came to the surface. She could not stop it any more than she could stop a waterfall from flowing. The heat from the kitchen which gave her a nervous feeling, making it difficult for her to focus her thoughts was replaced by a the deep emotion of love. As she lowered herself before her Savior, Friend and King, her emotions over came her fears. The love she felt for Jesus could not be held back any longer. Thinking about the story of Ruth, she pressed her face against her feet. Showing the highest regard of respect for Jesus was not enough for her. Tears of joy began to flow from her eyes. The love she felt was so deep her emotions transported her to a distant time and place. She imagined herself alone with Jesus along a quite river. She could feel the warmth of the sun on her back, the warmth of His skin on her cheek, a cool gentle breeze floating in from the nearby shade trees. She heard the sound of water flowing over smooth stones, birds singing from the trees, and the quite beating of His heart.

 

Suddenly she remembered why she came to Jesus. She opened her eyes. Tears blurred her vision for a moment. She realized her tears of joy wet His feet. She reached for her skirt, pulled, but it would not reach. She thought standing would attract too much attention. She imagined if no one saw her come in, no one knew she was there, except for Jesus. She did not want the feeling of being alone with Him fade. It was a dream she did not want to end. She pulled the pin holding her hair up, allowing it to flow to the ground. Her hair fell around Jesus’ feet. Gathering it in her hands, she dried her tears from His feet.

 

Once again she remembered why she came to Jesus. Reaching inside her garment she pulled out a small bottle. Opening the bottle she raised it to her nose. Taking in a deep breath to remember the moment by, she took the bottle and poured a little on His feet. She rubbed it in with her free hand, taking in the scent, thinking about the scene she that filled her mind a few moments earlier.

 

Suddenly she felt Jesus’ hands on her shoulders, gently guiding her up. Being lifted up by Him was a feeling she never expected to feel in her life. She gazed into the eyes looking back at her, eyes speaking two simple words directly to the heart, “I care.” Once again tears of joy began to flow. She lifted the bottle and poured the remainder upon His head. Jesus held her shoulders as she emptied the bottle. She brought her arm to her face to wipe the tears from her eyes with her sleeve. Tipping the bottle, the last remaining drops fell onto her lap. In her heart she thanked God for the greatest joy she could imagine, just to look into His face.

 

Suddenly the quite moment alone was interrupted by the reality of the world. The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste of money,” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”

 

It was as if Mary fell from the wings of an eagle flying high above the earth. Her moment of sheer happiness was interrupted by reality. It was like waking from a dream and fighting for the memory, the feeling to return. Much to her surprise, it remained, as long as she kept her eyes focused on Jesus as He answered them. “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

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