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Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Thirty-Five)

Updated: Mar 26

Day Thirty-Five

Scripture: Mark 14:3-9

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.’


It was too expensive. A denarius was roughly a day’s wage for an ordinary field worker. So, three hundred denarii meant someone’s entire annual income in those days. Imagine, someone has saved a certain amount by working hard every day throughout the whole year. And then, she spent that entire amount in just one minute. By breaking the jar and pouring the oil on Jesus, she made sure it was all spent in that one moment.

Wouldn’t you be upset if you saw that? Isn’t it too luxurious? Oh, why didn’t she use somewhat less expensive oil? Couldn’t she use a little bit of that oil instead of the whole jar? Or, she could have sold the ointment and divided the money; some for investment, some for saving, and some for charity! Didn’t Jesus always teach us to take care of the poor? Why didn’t she listen? What a waste! What a dumb decision!

You see, we are too quick to judge others’ actions. We judge others based on what we know and often fail to recognize that others might see something we do not. When no one understood Jesus, when everyone, including the disciples, was so excited about his triumphant entry, when they were looking forward to their Messiah being their political leader, she was the only one who actually listened and understood what Jesus was about to do. Thus, she broke the jar to prepare for the burial of her beloved Jesus.

May we have the heart of the woman who gave her all.


  1. Have you ever seen someone’s dedication and wondered why?

  2. How does this passage challenge our understanding of worthiness and qualification in serving others?

Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: We Sang Our Glad Hosannas

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