As Jesus prepares for His sacrificial offering on the cross, Mary prepared a sacrificial offering for Him through an alabaster jar. As followers of Jesus, there is no gift too extravagant to lay before our Savior.
14:1 It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him,2 for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”
3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head.4 There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that?5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her.6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.
The Woman’s Gift (Mark 14:1-3)
- You will never give Jesus an adequate response if you are worried about the approval of the crowd (14:2, 6).
- You never regret giving something of value for something you value more (14:3).
- The truest offerings are those that can never be taken back (14:3).
The Critics’ Reaction (Mark 14:4-9)
- In your attempt to demean the offering that someone gives, you might actually be demeaning the Recipient (14:4).
- Many people criticize others’ offerings in an attempt to distract you from their own stinginess (14:5-7).
- A sensitivity to the ways of the Lord allows you to participate in moments that others simply miss (14:8).
- Halfway efforts never make worldwide impacts (14:9).
The Betrayer’s Catalyst (Mark 14:10-11)
- Our response when Jesus differs from our expectations reveals the motive of our commitment (14:10).
- There are two types of followers of Jesus: those who want Jesus and those who want what Jesus can give.
- Mary’s gift was 300 denarii = 300 days’ wages
- Judas’ bounty was 30 shekels = 120 days’ wages
- The benefit of betrayal is never equal to the cost of surrender (14:11).
Were the whole realm of nature mine, what would I do with it?