At Simon The Leper’s House

A Frenchman who had lived in England for a number of years desired to become naturalized. He accordingly went to London, went through the necessary ceremony, and paid the customary fees. When he returned to his friends, one of them said, “Well, I suppose you are an Englishma … More


During the final week of His life before the cross, the Lord spent the night in Bethany which was east of Jerusalem on the south side of the Mount of Olives. We find recorded here an event that took place one evening in the home of Simon the Leper (v. 6). Who he was we do not know, but certainly he was no longer a leper or he would not have been involved in such a social affair as this. Perhaps he was one whom Jesus had healed. This anointing took place on Saturday night, six days before the Passover.

While the guests were reclining at dinner Mary came in with a flask of expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head and his feet and then wiped his feet with her hair (v. 7). It is said that this was worth 300 denarii which would have been about a year’s wages. Judas, who was treasurer of the group, immediately protested and said this was wasteful (v.8) (John 12:4). It seems that the other disciples followed his lead in scolding Mary. They said this perfume could have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor (v. 9). Jesus defended Mary by saying that the poor are always with us but He would not always be present (vv. 10-11). The woman could not have known that what she did that day would be memorialized in God’s Word and distributed to the ends of the earth. God loves to reward faithful devotion to Him.

Then Jesus made a startling statement. This was a moment when uncertainty and perhaps fear was beginning to grip the hearts of the disciples. If Jesus departed from them there was a great possibility that the movement He had launched might come to an abrupt halt (vv. 12-13). Now He declares that the good news will be preached to the whole world. What they were facing was not the end but only the beginning. Judas goes to the chief priests and settles on a price to turn Jesus in (vv. 14-16). 


I wonder what I would have said if I had been there when Mary poured this expensive perfume on Jesus? We need to remember that His ways are not always our ways.

Matthew 26:6-16 (English Standard Version)

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