From Heaven With Love


Chapter 62—Mary Anoints Jesus

This chapter is based on Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-11; Luke 7:36-50; John 11:55-57; 12:1-11.

Simon of Bethany was one of the few Pharisees who had openly joined Christ's followers. He hoped that Jesus might be the Messiah, but had not accepted Him as a Saviour. His character was not transformed; his principles were unchanged. HLv 371.1

Simon had been healed of leprosy, and he desired to show his gratitude. At Christ's last visit to Bethany he made a feast for the Saviour and His disciples. This feast brought together many of the Jews who closely watched His movements, some with unfriendly eyes. HLv 371.2

According to His custom the Saviour had sought rest at the home of Lazarus. Many of the people flocked to Bethany, some out of sympathy with Jesus, and others from curiosity to see one who had been raised from the dead. With assurance and power, Lazarus declared that Jesus was the Son of God. HLv 371.3

The people were eager to see whether Lazarus would accompany Jesus to Jerusalem and whether the prophet would be crowned king at the Passover. The priests and rulers could hardly wait for the opportunity of removing Him forever from their way. They remembered how often He had baffled their murderous designs, and were fearful that He would remain away. They questioned among themselves, “What think ye, that He will not come to the feast?” HLv 371.4

A council was called. Since the raising of Lazarus the sympathies of the people were so fully with Christ that it would be dangerous to seize Him openly. So the authorities determined to take Him secretly and carry on the trial as quietly as possible. They hoped that when His condemnation became known, the fickle tide of public opinion would set in their favor. HLv 371.5

But so long as Lazarus lived, the priests and rabbis knew they were not secure. The existence of a man who had been four days in the grave and had been restored by a word from Jesus would cause a reaction. The people would be avenged on their leaders for taking the life of One who could perform such a miracle. The Sanhedrin therefore decided that Lazarus also must die. HLv 372.1

While this plotting was going on at Jerusalem, Jesus and His friends were invited to Simon's feast. At the table Simon sat on one side of the Saviour, and Lazarus, on the other. Martha served, but Mary was earnestly listening to every word from the lips of Jesus. In His mercy, Jesus had pardoned her sins and called forth her brother from the grave, and Mary's heart was filled with gratitude. She had heard Jesus speak of His approaching death, and she had longed to show Him honor. HLv 372.2

At great personal sacrifice she had purchased an alabaster box of “ointment of spikenard, very costly,” with which to anoint His body. But now many were declaring that He was about to be crowned king. Her grief was turned to joy, and she was eager to be first in honoring her Lord. Breaking her box of ointment, she poured its contents on the head and feet of Jesus; then, as she knelt weeping, moistening them with her tears, she wiped His feet with her long, flowing hair. Her movements might have passed unnoticed, but the ointment filled the room with its fragrance and published her act to all present. HLv 372.3