The Final Week: Bethany

This week’s sermon is available right here.

This week we were in Mark 14 studying the story of the woman who poured out perfume on the feet of Jesus.

We talked first about the fact that in this passage, we see love poured out. This woman came to Jesus and poured an entire bottle of expensive perfume over Jesus’ head. She gave everything  — her possession that was worth a year’s wages — in order to worship Jesus. There’s a lot of symbolism in this passage as well. Often when people had oil poured over their heads, it meant that they were being anointed for a special task or role. Remember how David was anointed by Samuel in the Old Testament? This anointing was because God was choosing him as Israel’s next king. Jesus, here, is Israel’s ultimate king, the Saviour who would fulfill all of God’s promises. This anointing was also something done to prepare bodies for burial. Jesus’ death is coming up in just a few days, and as Pastor Dan mentioned, this woman seems to be the only one who actually believes what Jesus has said is going to happen to Him. She has heard Him speak of His coming death, so she anoints him to prepare His body for burial.

We also talked about how love was questioned. Instead of praise, this woman received rebuke from the disciples. But she believed Jesus. The price of the perfume didn’t matter — her love compelled her and her belief prompted action.

Finally love was betrayed. Judas, one of those closest to Jesus, is the one who hands Him over to be tried. Just because we have close proximity to Jesus doesn’t mean that we’re faithful. I think that’s an important one for us to think through — just because we go to church or know the Bible or do good things does not mean we are truly faithful to Jesus or have truly experienced His salvation. It is only through belief in our need for Jesus and what He did on the cross and then acting in obedience to follow Him that we are shown to be faithful.

So many good questions came out of this sermon. As we continue through this season of Lent, let’s think on these questions this week — use them during your personal devotion time. Ask God to reveal these answers in your life and depend on His Spirit to help you grow.

  • Where do you fit in this story from Mark 14? What kind of disciple are you — are you more like the woman or more like Judas?
  • Think back on your relationship with Jesus — did He find you wandering in the desert? How did He rescue you?
  • Where do you have a hard time believing Jesus?
  • What is your most precious possession that you can pour at the feet of Jesus?

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