GOSPEL OF MARK 14.1-9
1 Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 2 “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”
3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you,[b] and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
A victorious Christian life is not a superior brand of Christianity reserved for the elite of this elect. It is the normal Christian life for every Christian. – Ronald Dunn
As I meditate on the gospel story mention in Gospel of Mark about women came to Jesus and she pours the expensive perfume on Him it brings a deep interpretation of Christian life giving to her Savior.
These are the few things which we learn from her life.
1)SHE BRINGS THE VALUABLE PERFUME WHICH MADE UP OF PURE NARD (3va)
Gospel of Mark 14.3va. “While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard…”
Have you noticed that important people who have done great things
in the Bible are nameless? Here is a woman who did a great thing for
Jesus and we are not even told her name! Now John Tells us it was
Mary - most people think it was the same incident as [John 11:1-8,
and Mat 26:6-13] but it is by no means certain that it is the same
occasion. However, Mark and Mat see no need to mention her name
which teaches us that our good deeds should be done anonymously!
When usually people come to Christ they need something for themselves, for their family or loved ones but very less people brings something for Jesus.
According to some bible scholars the price of this oil flask is the salary of a person which he or she gets in one year. So it makes understand very well the cost of the perfume and its value.
The question is, what Lord Jesus wants from us the most valuable things? What a Christian person gives towards His Savior? He wants the most valuable thing that is the life to submit completely towards Him.
One such profound statement that was spoken by Jesus, who was famous for these kinds of sayings, is found in Matthew 16:25: "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." A real key to understanding this verse, in a deeper way, is to take a closer look at the word "save." This is the word "sozo"(sode'-zo) in the Greek text, and it's meaning is: to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger, to heal and cure, to preserve. Many times, when we read this word in the Bible, we only think of it in terms of "being saved" spiritually and it's pertaining to our eternal life in the sweet by and by. However, this word speaks strongly of our rights in this life, on Earth, in the cruddy here and now!
We live in a "self-help," "self-realization" world. Just take a good look around you, people everywhere are getting caught up with all kinds of self preservation techniques. Oh, how we wander through life searching for happiness, love, peace and acceptance. And in "our own" struggle to achieve this, many times have only come away with more wounding and grief. The "soul" part of man always seeks it's own way, and does not want to yield nor submit to anyone, much less the ways of God. The soul is the seat of pride and arrogance, it's the place where "feelings" desire to rule, which can cause us to make decisions that are not always healthy for our spiritual growth. The soul of man must be brought under subjection and submission to the Lord if we are ever going to realize the true blessings of God in our lives.
Take a look at 1 Peter 2:25, which makes this point so very clear: "For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." Our souls were designed to have a spiritual overseer. If we've made Jesus our Savior, but not our Lord, another spiritual overlord will take that place, and he comes to steal and to kill and to destroy - John 10:10b. This is one of the main reasons why so many Christians struggle in so many areas emotionally. Today we see lust and anger at all time highs, yes - even within the church! While they are saved, they have not put Jesus in first place within their lives. They are not in the Word daily nor do they spend time with the Master, developing in their relationship with Him - He simply is not Lord to them, and is not their Shepherd and Overseer! Remember, Jesus IS the Word of God - John 1:1-14. To submit to Jesus, is to submit to His Word. John 8:31-32 "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
2)SHE BROKE THE JAR (3vb)
Gospel of Mark 14.3vb, “She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.”
She broke the seal of the box - precious ointment had seals of wax,
breaking the glass was impractical and could cause injuries!
As we already read this passage that when she bring the oil she broke the oil flask. What does it mean, why she broke the jar?
Breaking of jar gives some indications.
a)It shows that when it breaks for Lord Jesus it should not be utilize for any other person.
b)It shows that this thing only bring for Lord Jesus Christ.
c)The value of this oil flask is not more than Lord Jesus Christ.
When as a Christian we give the life to Lord Jesus with brokenness. It shows that this life is only use for His glory and honor and He will only glorify through our life. Lord Jesus like the people who come with broken hearted towards Him.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Isaiah 57:15 For this is what the high and lofty One says--he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Apostle Paul defines the brokenness in a Christian life. In book of Galatians 2.20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. “
3)SHE VALUED JESUS MINISTRY MORE THAN ANY THING (4-5v)
Gospel of Mark 14. 4-5v, “Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.”
Do you know how costly 300 denarii is ? A year’s wages!! £15,000? £20,000? £25,000? Have any of us even seen perfume as expensive? Was she a rich person? Don’t know! Did she save up for this? Don’t know! Whatever the cost, it belonged to this woman. It was her’s! She had a right to do with it as she wished. She poured it over His head [3d]! Probably all of it - else the 300denarrii would not have been the cost! In that culture we need to remember that servants were constantly ‘attending’ to the needs of visitors and having people ‘fussing around’ was common practice. All this expense was poured out on Jesus by this woman!! Just imagine the cost - a year’s salary, without any return? Well, that was just the point - she was returning what Jesus had spent on her! Her love for the Lord was such that she had to do something unique, something original, creative, and demonstrative!! He was so worthy that the ordinary, every day appreciations did not do justice! It was something novel for the culture, but altogether appropriate! God was so concerned for Israel that he instructed Ezekiel to do bazaar things, sleeping on his side for 390 days, etc [Ezek 4:4]! He instructed Hosea to marry a prostitute, Isaiah did something novel -he sang a love-song [Isa 5] Jeremiah dramatized! All this to shock the nation into the reality of their serious condition of their spiritual relationship to God! It takes the ‘bazaar’ to get noticed!!
Today many people talk about social services than spiritual services because these days may Christian convert them selves from the glory of God to Glory of men . Many pastors, evangelists, missionaries turn to social services because of Lord Jesus ministry require carrying the cross.
In Gospel of Mark 10.17-22, Jesus commands the rich young man to obey the commandments. However, Jesus seems to speak to the young man is terms he understands from the Scribes and Pharoses. The pattern Jesus used was unassailable “do not” violate a Commandment. The instruction “do not” repeats five times.
Upon Jesus telling the young man to obey the commandments, the young man replied he obeyed since being a child. He “… felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him” (Mark 10:21).
This story concludes with Jesus final attempt at the young man’s transformation, Jesus tells him to sell all his possessions, give to the poor, and “follow Me.” Jesus asks this young person to give up his earthly treasure for heavenly treasures. Unable to accept this command, he turns and leaves Jesus. “At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:22). Although the passage ends with verse 22, Mark writes of Jesus continuing to instruct the disciples on the value of knowing God rather than trusting riches. The young man was unable to surrender riches, position, and title on earth for heavenly treasure.
Acts 13:25 As John was completing his work, he said: 'Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.'
4)LORD JESUS HIMSELF PRAISE HER FOR HER WORK (V8)
Gospel of Mark 14.8v, “She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.”
Lord Jesus always testifies for those who become the testimony for Him. Many people were sharply criticizes her but she stands with all the confidence midst of all criticism and that’s why Lord Jesus testify the work she done for Him.
In this world people seek human praise, favors, respect, honors but the true Christian is the one who get the praise from Lord Jesus Christ.
I remember the story mention in Gospel of Mark Chapter 2.1-5v where it is mention that when four men bring the paralyzed person to Lord Jesus Christ and after seeing their faith Lord Jesus forgive the sin of paralyzed man. The honors and praise comes from Living God. No people there praising these people but God know their efforts and dedication towards Him and He glorified these men and healed that person.
5) LORD JESUS PROHECIZED ABOUT HER RIGHTEOUS WORK TO BE PREACHED EVERY WHERE. (9v)
Gospel of Mark 14.9v Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
It’s a great prophecy which is done by the Savior Lord Jesus Christ for this woman. Lord always honors those who honor Him with all of their heart, mind and soul.
The greatest honor she got from God which the twelve disciples did not get it.Honor of that woman is not worldly reward but the reward that her work is preached where ever the preaching of the gospel.
Her extravagance matched Christ’s extravagance! She has done what
she could. Do you/ I realize what we ‘COULD’ do?
Written by –
PASTOR Avinash Singh (B.A, B.D.,M.A.)
Permanent Address- OLD H.NO.23, NEW NO.22, SINGH VILLA, YELLOW CHURCH CAMPUS, SIPRI BAZAR, JHANSI (U.P.)-284003, INDIA
Contact number – (+91)09598727359, (+91)05102361164