3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.
Deuteronomy 22-24; Mark 14:1-26
Today’s Devotion by Pastor Chuck Smith:
In John’s gospel we are told that it was Judas Iscariot that made the objection to [the woman’s anointing Jesus with expensive oil]. And it said, “Not because he really cared for the poor, but because he kept the purse and had been thieving out of it.” And so he said, “Why was this waste of ointment made? It might have been sold for more than three hundred pence or denarius.” Now, a denarius was a day’s wage for a laboring man. So this was almost a year’s wages, three quarters of a year’s wages, the value of this perfume.
For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence [denarius], and have been given to the poor. [Poor Judas!] And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? [don’t trouble her.] she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: [if you want, you can give to the poor any time, you’ll always have them around] but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying (Mar 14:5-8).
So at this moment, Jesus is very conscious of His impending death.
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her (Mar 14:9).
Interesting, isn’t it, that Jesus knew He was going to die? And yet He knew, in spite of the fact that He was dying, that this gospel was going to be preached into all the world. He had that confidence. “She’s done this for my burial. But let Me tell you something, wherever in all the world this gospel is preached, this will be mentioned about this woman and what she did, a memorial unto her.” So He predicts the preaching of the gospel. So, here we are, talking about this woman tonight who did this marvelous deed of sacrificing and breaking this box of expensive perfume over Jesus, anointing His body for His burial.
The question, “Why was this waste of ointment made?” Let me just say, nothing that is given to Jesus or done for Jesus is ever wasted. Paul the apostle tells us that your labor for the Lord is not in vain. Now, I have done a lot of things that ended up wasted. I’ve been involved in a lot of projects that ended up wasted. But nothing that I’ve ever done for the Lord is wasted.