And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” (Matthew 26:6-13)
The first part of the story is familiar to us and has the information we often emphasize. Jesus is in the home of Simon, the leper, when a woman comes in and goes directly to Jesus. She brought with her a very expensive flask of perfumed oil, and began pouring it on the Jesus' head. The disciples were irate that she would waste such an expensive oil. They would rather see the oil sold and the money given to the poor.
Jesus corrected their actions, explaining the woman should be left alone because she is doing a good thing. Jesus then told them the oil was significant because it was a likeness of the preparation of his body for burial. Now watch what is next. Jesus is still speaking to his disciples and says, " Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
Remember when the disciples were arguing over which one would be the most important in the kingdom? Now you can add to that memory, this story where they became indignant about costly oil being poured on Jesus. One more thing to add is the statement that she would be memorialized for her loving act, everywhere the gospel is preached.
If you have been a Christian for a while, perhaps you have heard the gospel preached on countless occasions. Do you remember ever being told the story of the loving act of this woman, as an added power punch to a gospel message?
How important is her story that Jesus said it would be told everywhere the gospel is preached? Looking at the woman and her act of pouring oil on Jesus, perhaps we should see her as one who is filled with so much love for the Lord, she does this to reach the very heart of Jesus.
It would be just a matter of days until Jesus would go to the cross, and with his sacrificial act of surrendering his life as payment for our sins, would be reaching out in love to abide in the hearts of everyone. There was never a love story more touching than this.