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Matthew 26:6-13 – A Woman to Be Remembered

|| Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8

MT26:6 Now when Jesus was visiting the house of Simon the leper[1] in Bethany,[2] MT26:7 a woman approached Jesus with an alabaster case of very expensive aromatic oil.[3] While Jesus was reclining at table, she began pouring oil upon his head. MT26:8 But the disciples became indignant[4] when they observed this, saying, “Why this waste?[5] MT26:9 This oil could have been sold for a lot and given to the poor.” MT26:10 Realizing their thinking Jesus told them, “Why trouble this woman?[6] For she has done something admirable[7] to me. MT26:11 For you will always have the poor among you.[8] [Deuteronomy 15:11] MT26:12 This woman, by putting this aromatic oil on my body, has prepared it for burial.[9] MT26:13 I tell you this truth: Wherever the Gospel is preached throughout the whole world of humanity, what this woman did will be repeated in her memory.”[10]

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[1] Simon the leper: Some think him that one of Matthew 8:2.

[2] Bethany: That small village a few miles from Jerusalem. Lazarus and his two sisters lived her.

[3] Expensive aromatic oil: The Greek is MYROU. Or, KJV: very precious ointment; NEB: small bottle of fragrant oil, very costly.

[4] Became indignant: Or, RHM: greatly displeased.

[5] Why this waste: Mark 14:5 adds, “… sold for upward of three hundred denarii” and thus gives us its worth: about a year’s wages. It is only John who reveals the real speaker: Judas (John 12:4).

[6] Why trouble this woman: Or, RHM: why vex; BER: embarrass; MON: annoying; NOR: don’t find fault with; PME: why make this woman feel uncomfortable.

[7] She has done something admirable: Or, KJV: she hath wrought a good work upon me; RHM: a seemly work; RSV: a beautiful thing; WEY: a gracious thing; KNX: she did well to treat me so; BAS: she has done a kind act.

[8] You will always have the poor among you: The phrase is so close to Deuteronomy 15:11 to be a strong allusion. Mark 14:7 adds, “… and whenever you want to you can always do them good.” This was something the apostles kept in mind for Paul writes about his instructions from the apostles at Galatians 2:10, “… we should keep the poor in mind.”

[9] Has prepared it for burial: Or, MOF: she has acted in view of my burial.

[10] Repeated in her memory: Or, KNX: to preserve her memory; PME: as her memorial to me; RSV: what she has done will be told in memory of her. Her charity and kindness becomes a permanent part of the Gospel by Jesus’ own command. With our imagined sense of smell we know that throughout the following period our Lord gave off a most pleasurable perfume. Compare 2 Corinthians 2:14-16.

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Preceding

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #1 Matthew 26:1-2 – Two Days Before Execution

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #2 Matthew 26:3-5 – Plotting to Seize Jesus

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