“…as He (Jesus) sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on His head.” - Mark 14:3
When we read John’s gospel account of this historic supper in chapter 12, we find out that this woman’s name is Mary, and she not only anointed Jesus’ head with this very precious ointment but she also poured it upon His feet and then wiped them with her hair. What is so amazing is that Jesus did not jump from the table and ask her, “What are you doing?” No, Jesus was accessible and His reaction was that of acceptance, and so Mary was not afraid to do for Him what no one else had ever done.
The New Covenant allows God to be accessible so that we may come close to Him without fear. Old Covenant Law was accompanied with thunder and lightning. No man or beast was to even touch the base of Sinai, the holy mountain of God, without being stoned (Exodus 19:12-16). In the Old Covenant God was at a distance, but once Jesus Christ (Jehovah Messiah) came He fulfilled all the Old Covenant Law that separated the people, and then He established the New Covenant. We are now invited by God to come close to Him. Jesus Christ said, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:28,29). Mary believed the words of Jesus and so she came near without fear and anointed Him.
We read in the Old Testament that kings were anointed on the head. What Mary is declaring is that Jesus is King. Then Mary anointed His feet. Mary knew her sinner-hood, and so she anointed the precious feet of King Jesus, who walked the dirty roads of this sin cursed world bringing her the gospel of grace, peace, hope, and acceptance. Lastly, Mary wiped His feet with her hair. According to 1 Corinthians 11:15 the hair of a woman is “a glory to her.” Do you see the picture here? Mary anoints Jesus’ head demonstrating that He is her King. Mary anoints Jesus’ feet and wipes it with her hair, her glory, demonstrating that her best, her glory, is to be used for His service, and for His glory alone. Now why does Mary do all of this? It is because she saw the Lord Jesus as precious. Yes, much more precious than her alabaster box full of ointment. No one and nothing else was more precious to her.
How about you? Take a look at the cross and consider “the precious blood of Christ” shed for sinners (1 Peter 1:19). Is Jesus most precious in your life?
David C. Hale, pastor