Jesus is Anointed at Bethany
(Monday of Holy Week)

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Detail from the Anointing of Jesus at a Pharisee's home - by POUSSIN, Nicolas - from National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK


John 12:1-11

Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, the man He had raised from the dead. They prepared a dinner for Him there, which Martha helped serve; Lazarus was one of those who were sitting at the table with Jesus. Then Mary took a whole pint of very expensive perfume made of pure nard, poured it on Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house. One of Jesus' disciples, Judas Iscariot - the one who was going to betray Him - said, "Why wasn't this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?" He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would help himself from it.

But Jesus said, "Leave her alone! Let her keep what she has for the day of My burial. You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have Me."


Jesus is Anointed at Bethany

by Father Charles Irvin, M.Div, J.D.

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crucifixion3.jpg (1600 bytes)anointing_of_jesus_poster.jpg (15328 bytes)While Jesus was dining at a Pharisee's home, a "sinful" woman came in with an alabaster vial of perfume. She sat at His feet, wetting His feet with her tears, and wiping them with her hair. She proceeded to kiss His feet and anoint them with the perfume.

Notice the woman focused on doing one thing, and that was to reach Jesus and kneel at His feet, giving Him the best that she had in His presence. She was not concerned about what others said about her or that others were wanting to throw her out because she had no invitation. As a woman and a known sinner, she was an outsider in the world in which the Pharisees lived. Despite the obvious hostility, she totally worshipped Jesus with her tears, hair and kisses upon His feet. She needed her sins to be forgiven and she knew Jesus was the One Who could heal her of a sinful past.

The alabaster of perfume was important because it was probably the most valuable possession this woman owned. Anointing Jesus' feet with the perfume was a form of sacrifice and also prepared Jesus for His inevitable execution. When a person becomes a Christian, they are dedicating their life to serving the Lord; becoming a "living sacrifice." Jesus paid the price for our sins on the Cross and because of His sacrifice, we can have a personal relationship with Him.

We must be like this woman when it comes to worshipping our Lord in Spirit and Truth. Worship is not simply going through the motions of attending church because it looks good. When we worship we should also ignore what others think, and become preoccupied with praising our Savior for His Precious Grace. Attending church is not the time for making a fashion statement or catching up on the latest gossip. Worship should not begin and end on Sunday -- there are seven days to a week. We are called to lead a lifestyle in which Christ should be glorified by our actions. Let us worship God in Spirit and in Truth! Ask yourself, have I renewed my mind, am I being transformed to a NEW creation? If not, what are you waiting for?