6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Matthew 26:6-13 (English Standard Version)
I know I’m out of line with the Holy Week “schedule of events”, however this verse keeps jumping out at me like a mischievous cat. So here it is.
Jesus was invited to the house of Simon the leper. We don’t know if he was healed by Jesus; however it appears he must have been since he was able to have guests of respectable Jews and their rabbi at his table.
Now while dinner was in progress and all the guys were at table, an unnamed woman comes into the room and begins to pour expensive ointment on Jesus’s head and anointed him. Now this upsets the disciples present as they remarked that the ointment could have been sold for a large sum of cash and given to the poor. Now, part of me thinks the “care for the poor” was bullshit. To be honest, I believe the disciples were pissed because this woman showed them up by this act of kindness. Plus, their sexist asses couldn’t stand seeing a woman doing the anointing.
However, Jesus immortalized the woman by defending her beautiful act she did for him. He saw right through the disciples’ bull and reminded them that the woman’s act was preparing him for his upcoming burial. Then to hit the nail on the head, Jesus dealt with the disciples’ concern in a unique way. He reminded the disciples that they’ll always have the poor; however they won’t always have Jesus.
Here we see Jesus addressing two of the marginalized of his day in a unique manner. First, he praised a woman who was neither his mother or his wife for anointing him by making her a part of his mission. Second, he was not dismissing the poor-as some would think-no, I believed he acknowledged them by subtly challenging his disciples to minister to them after he was gone. Jesus took what was assumed to be a “guys only” dinner and included the marginalized of their day in one breath. Jesus broke the tired social norms of his day to display the Kingdom/Queendom of God.
Something for us to think about. Peace.