“Jesus said to him, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”
Read Mark 14:1-11
In the space below, write down all that you observe about Christ and His surroundings. Look for who, what, when, where and why.
Where was Jesus?
Who was with Him?
What was the reason for the gathering?
What did the woman do?
What was Jesus response?
It was the week of Passover; the Passover feast was only a few days away and Jesus was reclining (relaxing) at the home of one of His followers. The book of John identifies the woman as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. John also tells us she anointed Jesus’ feet using her hair as a towel (John 12:3).
Alabaster is a translucent stone still used to make ornamented items of value. Note the value of the contents in the jar was approximately a year’s worth of wages.
The custom of the time was to anoint the heads of guests with oil. The climate in the area was very dry at times and it was soothing to the person to have oil placed on his/her head. That Mary anointed Jesus’ feet as well as His head suggests her motives were different than just a customary anointing of the head. Her anointing of Jesus’ head was an act of honor. Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet was an act of devotion.
Consider now the response of the different people who witnessed the event.
1. Mary – what was her response to Jesus?
2. The people present – what was their response to Mary’s actions?
3. Judas Iscariot – what was his response to Mary’s actions? (see also John 12:6)
The religious leaders in Israel had no excuse for not recognizing Jesus as Messiah; many prophecies were fulfilled in Him. 29 prophecies alone were fulfilled in one day – the day of Jesus’ death. If time allows, Read the Old and New Testament verses listed in the Family Devotionals Activity Sheet – Jesus is Anointed. Match the New Testament occurrence with the Old Testament prophecy. Remember, the Jewish religious leaders spent a lifetime studying Scripture and would have known these prophecies well. Yet because Jesus was not who they wanted Him to be, a military leader among other things, they refused to believe He was the Messiah in spite of the evidence before them. What about you? Have you created an image of Jesus according to what you want Him to be or do you worship Him for who He actually is? Take some time and discuss this with your family.
Note Mary’s response:
She recognized Jesus was about to die (He had already told them that). Out of her devotion to Jesus, she gave Him what was of most value to her. Notice she broke the jar…she was holding nothing back. She could have poured part of it out and kept some for herself, but instead, she gave Him all she had to give.
Note the response of the people:
When you look up the word ‘indignant’ or ‘indignation’ in the dictionary, you find the word means ‘anger aroused by something unjust, mean or unworthy.’ Did they think Jesus was not worthy of such a display of affection? Not worthy of the cost of that perfume?
Note the response of Judas Iscariot (from John 12):
He was upset the money was not put in the ‘offering plates’ (so to speak). He would have preferred the perfume be sold and the money placed in their treasury because he was stealing from the disciples’ funds.
What is your response? Are you like Mary, willing to give Jesus all for you recognize He is worthy of all? Are you like the people, thinking maybe Jesus is not worth all you have? Or, are you like Judas, wanting to take from what is God’s?
This isn’t just about money, it is about time, abilities and resources. Does God get the best of your time? Does He get the best of your skills and abilities? Or do you save the best for yourself and give God what’s left?
Pray as a family-
• Thank God for all He has blessed you with whether it be little or much.
• Ask God to place a desire in your heart to honor Him with the best of all you have.
As a family, decide what you find most valuable. For some, it may be money, for others it may be toys or time or skills and abilities.
Make a commitment to, as a family, give God your best. Give a toy or two to a shelter, volunteer your time to help another, or share your skills with another family or with the church. Perhaps as a family, you will decide to give financially to the church. Remember, Mary gave with her heart. As a family, do the same. God is not concerned as much with the amount as He is with the heart.