Read Mark 14:1-11
The account of Jesus’ anointing in Mark 14 is a story of love told from three perspectives. It was two days before Passover and knowing it was close to the time He would be crucified, Jesus wanted to be with friends, so he went to a little village called Bethany about 2 miles from Jerusalem that he frequented.
Jesus had just predicted the utter destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, and as you might expect, this didn’t make him very popular with the authorities. In fact at that very moment they were consumed with devising a plan to have Jesus killed. You see, these authorities were in love; in love with power. They were in love with the need to maintain their power in a very tumultuous, uncertain time. Their love of power was so strong that it had led them to miss the truth about the Messiah, and ultimately seek to have him destroyed.
Judas was in love as well. Judas was what was known as a zealot. In Jesus’s day zealots were a faction of Judaism driven by socioeconomic reasons to overthrow Rome’s occupation of Israel. However the zealots also believed that if they turned Israel toward God and incited the nation to war with the Romans that the Messiah would rise up from their midst and set up his kingdom. The zealots were in love. They were in love with an idea, albeit a wrong idea. Judas believed in that idea more than he believed in Jesus as God’s son. In fact all of Jesus’s talk of dying must have been a huge disappointment to Judas. Judas expected messiah to come with power and crush the Roman enemy, not be killed by them. Ultimately Judas’ love for his misinterpreted messiah led him to betray Jesus.
Finally, there was “a woman”. The bible doesn’t even mention her name. She was in love too. She was in love with her Savior. She was so in love, in fact that she took the most costly thing she owned, a jar of perfume from India which would have cost about a year’s wages, and she broke it open and poured it over Jesus’ head.
To those in love with power, it seemed a silly thing to do. Waste something so costly for no good reason. She could have sold it and been rich. To those in love with their ideas, it seemed sinful, as she could have helped the poor. But to the one in love with the Savior it was simply the most extravagant way she could think of to show Him in some small way that he was worth more to her than everything she owned on this earth. Jesus saw her heart, He knew her motives, and He was touched by her kindness.