In Memory of Her
by Dallas James
Copyright © 2015 by Dallas James
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.
A Memorial to Her – Mark 14:9
And with Special Thanks to
The churches, pastors and preachers of this world have neglected a simple instruction from Jesus Christ in the preaching of [_His Gospel. _]This short ebook wishes to bring attention to a subject that is of great importance in the heralding of the Gospel of Christ.
August 21, 2015
The Woman of Honor
Of the many churches, organizations and individuals that proclaim the Gospel message, there is one thing they have in common in spite of the vast range of their doctrinal differences. This is an omission of what Jesus Christ proclaimed would be spoken of whenever the gospel was preached. It is a memorial to a woman whom Christ gave great honor. And this honor was to be proclaimed for what this woman had done for she had prepared our Lords body for burial.
The account begins two days after Passover in Bethany before the trial and crucifixion of Christ. All the prophesies about our Lord had taken place leading up to this great event of human history. Now was the time for His death, burial and resurrection. But one important detail remained to be done and this great honor was given to a woman in Bethany.
“After two days was the Festival of Passover, and of Unleavened Bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him deceitfully, and put him to death.14:2 But they said, not on the Festival Day, unless there is a riot of the people.14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at dinner, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she broke open the box and poured it on his head.” Mark 14:1-3 (UTV)
We must remember that one of the important details was the preparing of perfume for the tabernacle services.
“YHWH spoke to Moses, Take spices, drops of stacte, onycha, and galbanum, these spices with pure frankincense, each will be in equal amounts.30:35 You will prepare it as an incense, a spice mixture after the art of the perfumer, blended together as pure and holy.” Exodus 30:34,35 (UTV)
This perfume was in the control of the priests and was forbidden to be used or duplicated for any other purpose. Our Lord was certainly entitled to use this official anointing oil but would never have been allowed so by the chief priests and authorities who were seeking his death. Nevertheless, it was in the plan of God to have Jesus anointed with a precious ointment that would symbolically prepare His body for burial. We notice the woman brought an alabaster box containing spikenard. Alabaster is a white stone used by the ancients for storing precious items. Spikenard was extracted into a costly perfume used by the Romans for anointing the head. This was the substance brought by the woman for this special anointing. The woman performed a noteworthy deed that the others around her did not understand.
“And there were some that had indignation within themselves and said, why was this waste of the ointment made? 14:5 For it might have been sold for more than 300 denarii, and have been given to the poor. And they admonished her. 14:6 But Jesus said, _][_Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has produced a good work on me. _][_14:7[_ For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you will you may do them good: but me you have not always. ][_14:8]_ She has done what she could, she has come in advance to anoint my body in preparation for burial._“ Mark 14:4-8 (UTV)
Notice that the woman did what she could, it was not within her power or jurisdiction to obtain the official anointing oil from the temple but she did the best thing that was in her power to do. Our Lord noticed and acknowledged this great deed and proclaimed,
“Of a Truth I say to you, wherever this Good News will be heralded throughout the whole world, this also that she has done will be spoken of for a _[_*MEMORIAL OF HER.][*”] Mark 14:9 (KJV)
Who Was She?
Who was this woman and can she be identified in the Bible. Is she to remain unknown or is she the Mary of John 12:3? The great scholar E.W. Bullinger notes in his Companion Bible (Appendix 158) that this woman is not Mary.
“There can be no doubt that, during the last week, the Lord was anointed on two separate occasions.
1) The former is recorded in John 12:1-8, “six days before the Passover”, at Bethany, where the Lord came. The latter is recorded in Matt.26:7-13 and Mark 14:3-9 “two days before the Passover”, in the house of Simon the leper, also in Bethany.
Thus the times and places are distinct.
2) In the former case it was “a pound of ointment” that was used (John 12:3). In the latter case it was an alabaster vessel (Matt.26:7)
3) In the former case it was “the feet” of the Lord that were anointed (John 12:3). In the latter case it was His “head” (Matt.26:7).
4)In the former case the term used is “anointed” (John 12:3). In the latter case the term is “poured” (Matt.26:7, Mark 14:3).
5) In the former case it was Judas who asked the question why it was not sold…(John 12:4) In the latter it was the disciples who “had indignation” (Matt.26:8) “among themselves” (Mark 14:4)…
6) In the former the Lord directs the ointment to be reserved for His burial; and not sold (John 12:7). In the latter He declared that it had been kept for that purpose (Matt.26:12, Mark 14:8).
7) In the former case the Lord said, “Let her alone,” in order that she may keep it (John 12:7). In the latter He declared that she had well used it (Matt.26:10-13).
8) In the former case the woman is named “Mary” (John 12:3). In the latter case the woman is unnamed.
9) Thus on each occasion both the antecedents and consequents are different.”
Bullinger makes a strong case here but seeing that the woman is unknown it could have been Mary just as well as anyone else. It would also seem likely that some of the same people would follow Jesus to the other home. In addition to this, we note how the different accounts of the Olivet prophecy for example vary in detail but is the same event, not three separate events. (see Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21). And finally we note the similarities of the account in John 12.
1) The ointment was the same, spikenard (John 12:3).
2) The same objection was made (John 12:4)
3) The same amount of money was cited in the objection (John 12:5).
4) Jesus gave the same reply in both accounts (John 12:7,8)
It is not the purpose of this ebook to prove who the woman was but to merely point out both sides of the argument. We may very well have the identity of the woman revealed in the future when the gospel is preached to the whole world before the return of our Lord. This preaching will be carried out by an angel and the command to mention this woman will not be ignored as is the case with human beings.
“And I saw another messenger flying in mid-heaven, having Good News Age-Lasting to proclaim to those dwelling upon the earth, and to every nation, and tribe, and tongue, and people,” Revelation 14:6 (UTV)
In closing, in light of this command by Jesus Christ, the author of this ebook wishes to mention and give honor to this woman for the wonderful deed she performed. All of my published material makes mention of her in the Dedication of all my published works. It is also my hope that others will also start to give “a memorial to her” as our Lord directed.
“And walk in brotherly love, as Christ also has Loved us and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to Elohim for a sweet smelling odor.” Ephesians 5:2 (UTV)
“But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things that were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to Elohim.” Philippians 4:18 (UTV)