What Do You Offer a King?
“Day of Aloneness”
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Matthew 26:7-10,12 (VOICE)
While [Jesus] was at Simon’s house, a woman came to see Him. She had an alabaster flask of very valuable ointment with her, and as Jesus reclined at the table, she poured the ointment on His head. 8 The disciples, seeing this scene, were furious.
Disciples: This is an absolute waste! 9 The woman could have sold that ointment for lots of money, and then she could have given it to the poor….
Jesus: Why don’t you leave this woman alone? She has done a good thing…. 12 In pouring this ointment on My body, she has prepared Me for My burial.
In Matthew’s account of this event, the location is specified as Simon’s house. In John’s account, it locale is simply the hometown of Lazarus. Both accounts specifically refer to the town of Bethany. The “Barnes’ Notes on the Bible” commentary provides a little more clarity:
It was unlawful to eat with persons that had the leprosy, and it is more than probable, therefore, that this Simon had been healed – perhaps by our Lord himself. John 12:1 says that this was the house where Lazarus was, who had been raised from the dead. Probably Lazarus was a relative of Simon’s, and was living with him. Further, he says that they made a supper for Jesus, and that Martha served….
John says John 12:3 that she poured it on the “feet” of Jesus, and wiped them with her hair. There is, however, no contradiction. She probably poured it “both” on his head and his feet. Matthew and Mark having recorded the former, John, who wrote his gospel in part to record events omitted by them, completes the account by saying that the ointment was also poured on the feet of the Saviour. To pour ointment on the “head” was common. To pour it on the “feet” was an act of distinguished “humility” and of attachment to the Saviour, and therefore deserved to be particularly recorded.
As he sat at meat – That is, at supper. In the original, as he “reclined” at supper. The ancients did not sit at their meals, but “reclined” at length on couches. See the notes at Matthew 23:6. She came up, therefore, “behind him” as he lay reclined at the table, and, bending down over the couch, poured the ointment on his head and his feet, and, probably kneeling at his feet, wiped them with her hair. [In regard to the disciples complaints]….every duty should be done in its place, and the duty “then” incumbent was that which Mary had performed. They would afterward have abundant occasion to show their regard for the poor…. He said that it was a proper preparation for his burial. In ancient times, bodies were anointed and embalmed for the purpose of the sepulchre. Jesus said that this was “really” a preparation for that burial… [a]
As promised in Matthew 28:13, the story of the woman making the sacrificial offering of pouring costly ointment on Jesus’ body, as a pre-death preparation for His burial (described in the subject passage), has been shared by millions of people all over the world for centuries where the Gospel has been spread. In John 12:3, we find that it was Mary, the sister of Lazarus (who had recently been raised from the dead), who performs the action of pouring the expensive ointment onto the feet (and head) of Jesus. Mary’s faith had been shaken (John 11:20,32) and restored in the process of her brother’s death and subsequent resurrection.
Now, while this is “the Gospel according to Dan Rivera” and may be seen as presumptuous, I believe that the Holy Spirit may have led Mary to perform this action… perhaps even with providing a little insight into Jesus’ impending death and burial. I say this because Christ specifically credits her actions as preparing His body for burial (Matt. 26:12).
For Mary, no offering she could have given Jesus would have been too costly. She felt that she owed everything to Him. So, what about us? Do we feel as indebted to our Savior, our Lord, our King, our Creator?! Many churchgoers scoff at having to give a 10% tithe on personal income, despite the numerous testimonies of tithers who were blessed for their obedience. Mary gave what may have been an “all I have to give” offering, like the poor widow who offered her livelihood of two mites (Luke 21:1-4).
Considering all that Jesus has done for you… all Jesus has done for your family… all that Jesus WILL do, what would you, if given the chance, offer to Christ just prior to His death? Why is today any different? As we prepare to celebrate Easter, we know that Christ lives and that He is making intercession for us (Romans 8:34). What sacrifice can YOU make?
First of all, if you have not yet offered your life to Christ, the Easter season would make for a markedly special occasion to be made new. If you have accepted Christ, but have not given Him ALL of you (or have taken pieces back), make a commitment to whole-heartedly serve Him. If you have not trusted God with your time, your talents, your treasure (finances), now would be a good time to start. As stated in the Barnes’ Bible commentary:
Like other people, Christians have a right to dispose of their property as they please, answerable only to God. And though an avaricious world esteems it to be “wasted,” yet, if their Lord commands it, it will be found to be the “only way” in which it was right for them to dispose of that property, and will be found not to have been in vain. [a]
What do you offer a King?…. YOURSELF!
See also “In Which a Woman Scandalizes Stingy Hearts, but Blesses Jesus Enormously” by Jenny Rae Armstrong