Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or the people may riot.”
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as 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.
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
The turbulence was growing around Him and the pressures intensifying every day. Yet, in the midst of the torment came this beautiful act.
To most it was a huge waste. The perfume was extremely expensive and meant to be measured out drop by drop, but this woman unloaded the entire vessel onto Jesus’ head. While those around her reacted harshly to the act, Jesus saw straight to the heart. For Him, it was a well-timed act of devotion – unexpected and unusual, and yet, so meaningful to Him. This woman had not been tainted by the negative religious attitudes around her. This was the worship of a woman who didn’t know the rules – an unpredictable, untamed heart on a quest to see Jesus glorified.