Our Next Guest Is: Mary of Bethany

Series: Our Next Guest | Week 11: A Journey Through the Gospel of Mark

Day Two Mark 14:1-11

14 It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. 2 “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”

3 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head.

4 Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked. 5 “It could have been sold for a year’s wages and the money given to the poor!” So they scolded her harshly.

6 But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? 7 You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time. 9 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests to arrange to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted when they heard why he had come, and they promised to give him money. So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
– Mark 14:1-11 (NLT)

1. Why is it significant that the woman’s perfume is very expensive (verse 3)?
2. How is the response of the people different from the response of Jesus to the woman using expensive perfume (verses 4-9)?
3. Compare and contrast Judas and the woman in this story.

A disciple of Jesus wanders from Him, while a woman pours perfume on Him as an act of worship.

According to John 12:1-8, Mary pours perfume worth 300 days of labor on Jesus to anoint Him. Judas, a disciple of Jesus, betrays Him for wages equal to 120 days of work. Judas thinks the woman is wasting her money while he, sadly, wastes his life. The woman gives her all for Jesus when no one else does. Do you relate to Mary who worships Jesus or Judas who wanders from Jesus? Why? Spend some time reflecting on what it means in your own to give Jesus your all.

For Further Reading: The All-Surpassing Preciousness of Jesus

*TPCC does not necessarily endorse all For Further Reading/Learning sources. They are simply meant to be a helpful tool.

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