Jesus’ Anointing at Bethany

I’ve been studying the book of Matthew in the Bible recently, and there some interesting things that I’ve picked up on this time that I’ve not really taken note of before.

Matthew 26:6-13 is one very good example. These verses are from when Jesus was in Bethany with his disciples, they were at the house of a man referred to as “Simon the Leper”. It is paralleled in Mark 14:3-9.

The way it goes down is that they are there reclining, a woman comes with expensive perfume in an alabaster jar. The disciples give her a hard time about it, saying that it could have been sold and used for a more something else rather than wasted (such as feeding the poor etc). In John 12:4-6 it indicates that it was primarily Judas Iscariot that was objecting.

Jesus rebukes them though because he understands the deeper meaning behind it. The part I quite like though that I’ve not noticed before, and that no one ever includes when they retell this part of Jesus’ journey is Matthew 26:13 and Mark 14:9, the very end:

Matthew 26:13

“I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Mark 14:9

“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.”

Word for word in both books. This is so important, that people will hear about Jesus’ being anointed with expensive perfume by this woman whenever they hear the gospel. Jesus is basically prophesying that this will be part of the gospel.

I can imagine the disciples there trying to figure out what he means. Talking amongst themselves. What on earth is he going on about? They don’t even know all of the gospel yet. It makes a bit more sense in the Greek. The word that is translated to gospel is “euagelion”, which according to Strong’s Greek Concordance means “a good message, that is, the gospel”. If gospel is a newer, English word, then chances are in the Greek originally it may have just meant the good news, as we still often refer to it.

At this point though, the disciples only understand part of the good news, why is this so important? Look though, Jesus’ prophecy has proven true. It was recorded by two of the gospel writers as part of the gospel.

Can you just imagine later on down the track after Jesus’ death, the light bulb coming on over one of the disciples about this?  Excitedly explaining what it actually meant and why Jesus rebuked them.

I think it’s pretty cool really. She just wanted to do something nice for Jesus and subsequently gets remembered through history for almost 2000 years so far for it.

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