Updated: Nov 28, 2022
Six days before Passover:
Lazarus, Martha and Mary planned a dinner in Jesus' honor. While Martha served, Lazarus was among the disciples reclining at the table with Jesus. Mary took about a pint of pure nard (John 12:2-3, NIV), poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped His feet with her hair, filling the house with fragrance.
But one of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages”.
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 help himself to what was put into it."
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
John 12:1-8, Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Two days before Passover:
"While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster flask filled with an expensive jar of pure nard (Mark 14:3, ESV). She poured on the head of Jesus as He reclined at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant.
“Why this waste?” they asked.
“This pure nard could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Matthew 26:6-13, Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
While chief priests, elders, and Caiaphas schemed to arrest Jesus, a woman with a noble heart approached to anoint Him with the most expensive pure nard on the land. Jesus's words "wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her" clung to me.
Who was she? Her name? Where did she come from? What's her story?
John reminded us that if everyone who met Christ was to share their testimony, even the whole world would not have room for the books that will be written. Scripture tells us after Jesus called His first disciples, He went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing diseases among the people, and as news spread all over Syria, large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis (the Ten Cities), Jerusalem, Judea, and the region across the Jordan followed Jesus and His disciples. Surely, The Woman with The Alabaster Flask knew Jesus Christ as the Lord. Though her name, origins or story was unwritten, Jesus wanted her action remembered.
To Jesus, her name, action, or story did not matter. Neither does your past.
Jesus wanted the Woman with the Alabaster Flask recognized because of her sacrifice and selflessness. Toward Jesus' last days on earth, her desire was not for personal gain, but for the Kingdom of God.
The Woman with The Alabaster Flask can be anyone of us.
Our names, origins, or stories may not be known by others but only by Jesus.
Others may interpret our sacrifices toward the kingdom of heaven as a waste, but to God, it will always be the most beautiful thing.
That is why, the story of the Woman with the Alabaster Flask is told whenever the gospel is preached throughout the world.
The Found Sheep