The Gospels: Full of Grace and Truth
The Anointing by Mary
Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-11
Now six days before the passover, when Jesus was in Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead, one of the Pharisees desired to eat with him. And he went in the house of Simon, the leper, who was also a Pharisee. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. (Matthew 26:6; Luke 7:36; John 12:1-2)
- WHO are you?
There came unto him a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box containing a pound of spikenard, a very precious ointment. She stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet. And she broke the box, and poured it on his head, and anointed him with the ointment. The house was filled with the odor of the ointment. (Matthew 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37-38; John 12:3)
- An EXTRAVAGENT expression
Now when the Pharisee which had invited him saw [it], he spake within himself, saying, “This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman [this is] that touches him: for she is a sinner.” (Luke 7:39)
- BLIND spots
And Jesus answering said unto him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he said, “Master, say on.” “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed 1 1/2 years wages, and the other 2 months wages. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one he forgave most.” And he said unto him, “You have rightly judged.” And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, you gave me no water for my feet: but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped [them] with the hairs of her head. You didn’t kiss me, but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet. You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but this woman has anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loves little.” (Luke 9:40-47)
- We all want FORGIVENESS
And he said unto her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, “Who is this that forgives sins also?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:48-50)
- How are we FORGIVEN?
But when his disciples saw [it], they had indignation, and Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which would betray him, asked, “To what purpose [is] this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for more than a years wages, and given to the poor.” And they murmured against her. (Matthew 26:8-9; Mark 14:5; John 12:4-5)
This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and was in charge of what was put therein. (John 12:6)
- You can find a reason to CRITICIZE anything
When Jesus understood [it], he said unto them, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble the woman? for she has performed a good work upon me.” (Matthew 26:10; Mark 14:6)
- Are you able to see the GOOD, or are you always searching for the BETTER?
“For you have the poor always with you, and whenever you want you may do them good. But you don’t always have me.” (Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7)
- What is the GOOD that God has called you to do?
“She has done what she could. She has kept this for the day of my burial. For as she has poured this ointment on my body, she has come in advance to anoint my body for burial.” (Matthew 26:12; Mark 14:8; John 12:7)
- An amazing INSIGHT
“Verily I say unto you, ‘Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told for a memorial of her.’” (Matthew 26:13)
- The good you do will not be FORGOTTEN
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Prep for Next Week
- Begin studying - The Triumphal Entry - Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19
- Pray for an opportunity to invite a friend to church or share the gospel with them
Follow-up Discussion Questions
- Who are you? Where does your identity lie? In your circumstances? In your position? Or in your identity in Christ? Who does God say you are?
- What is the most extravagant thing you’ve ever done in worship or service? (We’re not just talking about money)
- Do you know your blind spots? Why is it important to know our blind spots?
- Why is “he who is forgiven much loves much” not limited to those who have committed horrible sins or have a very checkered past?
- Why is criticism both a necessary thing as well as a dangerous thing?
- What do you think about Jesus’ statement that we will always have the poor with us?
- Why is following what the Lord has “told us” important?
- Why do you think the women in the gospels seemed to understand the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and the men did not?
- Do you believe that the good you do will not be forgotten? Why or why not?