There are verses sandwiched into Mark 14 about a woman, Mary, who poured an alabaster jar of oil on Jesus’ head. What can we learn from this encounter?
- It should reaffirm to us that Jesus is worthy. Not because of what He has done or what He will do. He is God incarnate and based on that alone, He is worthy. He deserves our reverence. He deserves our devotion. He deserves our praise.
- It should make us reevaluate our level of giving. Jesus said of this woman, “She did what she could” (Mark 14:8). In historical context, this jar of oil was very expensive (more than a laborer’s annual wages) and might have been an heirloom passed from generation to generation. Sacrificial giving isn’t something that most of us have ever done (myself included). Her gift was lavish. It was performed as an act of worship and praise, without concern for the reaction of those around her and without hope of any personal gain.
- It symbolically demonstrates Jesus as the sacrificial lamb for humanity. As the Jews were preparing for Passover, they would have already anointed the feet of their Passover lambs with oil (as Jesus’ were in John 12:3) and then two days before Passover, they would have anointed their lambs’ heads with oil. Jesus knew His crucifixion was near and said, “She anointed my body beforehand for burial” (Mark 14:8).
She did what she could. Let’s do what we can.
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