3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:3 – 9)
Theme: If not You, then Who?
Over the last three days we have considered Jesus’ identity, integrity, and investments in the lives of others. Today we will examine the heart beat of Jesus’ activities – His love for people. We will see examples of His love through powerful displays of intimacy. Jesus has a tremendous impact on people because he cares deeply for them. He is not distant. He is truly Immanuel – “God is with us”!
Our passage today captures one example of the kind of deep care Jesus practiced. There are also other stories worth noting. Starting with the raising of Lazarus just before the triumphal entry and ending with the Lord’s supper, here are 5 powerful summary examples:
|Reference||Occasion||Act of Intimacy|
|John 11:17 – 43||Jesus raises Lazarus||When Jesus saw the grief of Mary and Martha caused by the death of their brother Lazarus, He felt their pain and wept.|
|Luke 19:41 – 44||Triumphal entry to Jerusalem||When Jesus contemplated the calamity that would befall Jerusalem, He weeps for the people of the city.|
|Mark 14:3 – 9 (Today’s passage)||A woman anoints Jesus with expensive perfume||When a woman performing an act of worship is abused, Jesus rises to her defense and tells those who rebuked her to “Leave her alone”.|
|John 13:1 – 17||Jesus washes the disciples’ feet||Jesus intimately taught powerful kingdom principles with a towel and basin of water.|
|Mark 14:12 – 26||The Lord’s supper||Jesus hosted a special final dinner with His disciples and brought them into the loop on key events to come.|
We are left with no doubt that Jesus loved deeply and established deep relationships. Please prayerfully read the passage above and answer the question below.
What lessons do we learn from Jesus about developing deep relationships to advance God’s kingdom?