Many believe the woman who entered the room was Mary, the sister of Lazarus. The account in John 12 identifies her as such. The other Gospel accounts don’t mention her name and it says they were at the home of Simon the leper. Details for a scholar most likely, but our focus is not the who or the where but the what.
Let us enter the room in Mark 13:3 and encounter what this woman did as she anointed Jesus for his burial. Whether or not she knew it was for his burial is unclear, but she proceeded with extravagance that came under scrutiny by those present.
She broke open a flask of very costly ointment and poured it over His head.
Immediately, jeers of criticism were deployed from all over the room. “Why was this fragrant oil wasted”? “It might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor”!
Jesus could see past their hypocrisy and thievery. He knew their concern was not for the poor but for their own pockets.
His defense of her was immediate as he exclaimed, “LET HER ALONE”!
Don’t you love the Savior? Isn’t He wonderful? He is a Defender of the innocent. He continued to confirm this woman’s actions as necessary to his burial and a good work she did on his behalf. She was vindicated further as he told them that wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she did would be told as a memorial to her.
Now halt the presses and acts of worship displayed for all the world to see!
The scribes and Pharisees had always wanted the head of the table, the lofty prayer opportunities and accolades of the people for their supposed piety. But, the woman anointing Jesus took on servant hood, like a mortician and proceeded to prepare Christ for his burial. How many people would have taken that gig? There was no notoriety in that! However, what was despised by men was memorialized for eternity!
Whether this was an act of worship or not, it was commended by Jesus. When you think of it, isn’t he the only one that matters? No matter your act of worship, you are in good company when it is despised by men because chances are it is approved of by the Savior. After all what men deem appropriate usually isn’t to the Lord.
On this Good Friday, as we bring into remembrance that dreadful, glorious day of our Savior’s crucifixion, let us also remember that our worship is for Him alone regardless if it is ever acceptable to men. Actually, worship in spirit and truth is NEVER acceptable to men.