May 7. 2023

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. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 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. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 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.”- Mark 14:3-9 ESV

This is an interesting story. Of the 4 gospels, three are called synoptic gospels. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories. They stand in contrast to John, whose content is largely distinct. The term synoptic comes via Latin from the Greek σύνοψις, synopsis, ” seeing all together”. Matthew, Mark, and Luke cover many of the same events in Jesus’ life—most of them from Jesus’ ministry in Galilee—in much the same order. Nearly 90 percent of Mark’s content is found in Matthew, and about 50 percent of Mark appears in Luke. All of the parables of Christ are found in the Synoptics (the Gospel of John contains no parables). I have read that about 90% of John is unique unto itself. Yet, LIKE JESUS SAID, “wherever the Gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be in memory of her. ALL FOUR GOSPELS contain some sort of variation on the story of the woman who comes and anoints Jesus’ feet with perfume and then uses her hair to wipe his feet (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:1-10, Luke 7:36-50, John 12:1-11). In Matthew, Mark, and John these stories are remarkably similar, though John says that it is Mary (Martha’s sister) who is the woman involved while Matthew and Mark do not tell us her name.

Leader, this story is a big deal! This story has so much meaning, and it is impossible for man to get all the meaning out of this story, but God feels it is important enough that all 4 gospel writers were moved by the Spirit of God to write about it. Keeping with the rarity of John’s writing in his gospel, John mentions information not in the other gospels. John 12:4-6, hear the Word of God; “But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was going to betray Him, asked, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” Judas did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money bag, he used to take from what was put into it.” Did you get that, it is so relevant in today’s messed up world, messed up church. In this situation, Judas looked like the good, “Christian” and Mary was OUT OF LINE. It was Mary, who was wrong, she was the sinner, and it was Judas who was righteous, he was the good one, the good Christian, the one who was right, and the lowly woman was adrift in her thinking. Yet, man got it backwards again!! It was Judas who was wrong, and it was the lowly, broken, non-seminary Christian who got it right. Jesus was her everything, where with Judas, Jesus was his job. How many church leaders, and Pastors need to get the message of this woman that is in ALL 4 GOSPELS.

Conduit, Jesus was always concerned with the heart. The fake, surface dwelling, perfect looking, bible preaching “leaders’ of the church who hide their hearts, and who do their job- while criticizing us broken sinners. Remember, the greatest sermon every preached, The Sermon on the Mount? How the largest distinct section of the Sermon on the Mount is Matthew 5:21-48, called the “six antitheses” because Jesus makes six quotations or paraphrases of commands of Moses in the Bible, and then he says, “But I say” and makes a similar but stronger statement. Jesus compared the demands of the law of the gospel with the requirements of the Mosaic law. In each, the Master cited an earlier proposition of the law, a thesis, and made an authoritative counterproposition, or antithesis, that called disciples to a higher standard of belief, motivation, and observance. To this woman, Mary, Jesus was everything. The Apostles were doing ministry, doing their job. Many times Jesus rebuked the disciples for missing “THE IMPORTANT POINT”. Hear the Word of the Lord; “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. “I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” (Matthew 17:15-17. Also see Mark 9:14-29 and Luke 9;37-42) All of them say Jesus rebuked His disciples ““You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you?” I hear people all the time talk about how Jesus never insulted, or was harsh with people- NOT GOSPEL, not true! Is Jesus your first love? Or is your spouse, your family, your ministry, your pride, your ego, your reputation, your JOB- more important than Jesus. This woman was right, BUT they all thought she was wrong. The religious people, the apostles, were wrong, BUT all thought they were RIGHT! Hear the Word of the Lord; Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Corinthians 13:5) Let us examine and test our ways, and turn back to the LORD. (Lamentations 3:40)


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