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Jarrod Jacobs: A Memorial For A Sacrificial Woman

In the life of Christ, we find a time when a woman poured expensive ointment on Jesus (Matt. 26:7). Mary, Lazarus’ sister, is the one who did this (Jn. 12:3). As this ointment was poured upon Christ, Matthew says “his disciples” complained. John gets more specific, naming Judas as one who complained that it could have been “sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor” (Jn. 12:5).

John continues by declaring that Judas only did this because he had the “bag” and was a thief (Jn. 12:6). Evidently, Judas thought if the oil’s price had been donated to the Lord, then he could get his hands on the money, whereas to be used in this manner was considered a “waste” (Matt. 26:8). Jesus corrected the naysayers by saying that this was done in preparation for His coming burial (Matt. 26:12; Jn. 12:7). In a room of people who still did not comprehend the idea that Christ would die soon, it no doubt shocked them to hear Jesus say she was doing something in preparation for His burial.

Matthew records Christ saying, “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her” (Matt. 26:13). What do Mary’s actions teach us?

Remember, Jesus said this was done “to prepare me for burial” (Matt. 26:12, ESV). She was acting in faith for what was to come. The others did not believe Jesus would die at this point. They awaited an earthly kingdom ruled by Jesus. Yet, this lady understood and made this attempt to “do what she could” for the Lord. She had listened to the Lord and understood what His work was!

When we read Matthew 26 and John 12, it is apparent that though Jesus is surrounded by several, she is the only one acting in this manner. It takes courage to do something, especially something that is right, when no one else is. We can add to this the fact that when she started to anoint Jesus, the disciples complained loudly about what she was doing. Yet, she continued to act in faith. Indeed, this would take courage to continue when others protested.

As noted by the complaining people, the oil she used was expensive. “Three hundred pence” (denarii, shillings, coins, Jn. 12:5) might roughly equal a year’s wages back then. This dear lady poured out a year’s wages in a matter of moments! Was this wasteful? Though Judas and others claimed so (Matt. 26:8), the truth is that this was a great act of generosity toward her Savior!

Why should we remember this act? First, it is a memorial to her for what she did for the Lord. Does this not also show us how we need to act? We need to act in faith, in courage, and in generosity as we trod this earth. It is apparent that this is required more and more as our society continues to get worse! As time goes on, we need to have the faith, courage, and generosity of heart to follow the Lord and be faithful to the very taking of our lives (Rev. 2:10)! Let us never forget the actions of this meek and blessed lady!

-- You are invited to visit with the Caneyville church of Christ. Times of services: Sun.: 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 5:00 pm; Wed.: 7:00 pm. Website: Tune in to our radio program 101.5 FM at 5:30 am, Mon-Fri. Questions? Call: (270) 589-4167







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