RCPC Greatest Hit from Jim Allison in 1985
It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”
While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”
Jesus was under great spiritual stress. Just three days before, He had entered Jerusalem to a tumultuous welcome. He knew that the people wanted Him to lead then in some kind of movement to overthrow the Roman power. He also knew that they had little or no understanding of the Kingdom of God. He spent each day in the Temple trying to teach the common who came to minister to their needs, but having also to ward off the constant religious attacks of the Temple rulers. At night, then, He would go to Bethany for a few hours of peace and rest.
One evening, as He reclined on His couch at dinner, a woman came and gently, lovingly, with quiet understanding and deep devotion, poured precious ointment on His head. How refreshing it was, both physically and spiritually! He was strengthened for His coming ordeal with death. The woman, too, was blessed. She really wanted to show her devotion, and to help Him. She could not lighten the load of His labor, but she could help Him to bear it. Knowing that He thus accepted her help and was a blessing to her.
Prayer: O Holy Spirit, lead us we pray to deep devotion to our Lord Jesus. Help us to show that devotion in acts of love to Jesus and to those “little ones” whom Jesus loves.