Saturday, June 12, 2010

Alabaster Box

The Bible doesn’t give us the name of the woman with an alabaster box in Matthew or Mark

There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. [Matthew 26:7 KJV]

And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. [Mark 14:3 KJV]

Luke tells us she was a sinner.

And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, [Luke 7:37 KJV]

John gives us Mary, sister to Lazarus, anointing His feet with spikenard.

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. [John 12:3 KJV]

As with most of the Bible, there are many lessons within a recounting. Matthew, Mark and John recount someone speaking of the monetary waste, the things money spent on the ointment could do elsewhere. Luke speaks of forgiveness. Both are good lessons

But one of my questions remains unanswered. Judas’ conspiracy is documented shortly after this. As the keeper of the bag, was this presumed waste the straw that sent him to the priests in betrayal? It shouldn’t have. It took no funds from his purse. There was not a specific place named where the funds were needed.

There will always be needs for the poor in this world. A person’s death is a one-time event. Christ’s approaching death was a once-in-creation event and this woman was preparing for it.

Christ called what she did a good work. He also said: She hath done what she could: [Mark 14:8 KJV]

He commended her to our memories.

Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. [Mark 14:9 KJV]

So, that brings us to the next question. What is our memorial? What will people remember about us? What do we want it to be versus what we know it to be at present? What changes are necessary for the goal to be reached? Have we done all we could?

Those questions are directed to my own life. Each time I approach our Lord in prayer, I am aware of my shortcomings. Often I am not aware of where I need to be in doing His will. But I do wish my memorial would be as one who openly displayed her love for God and shared it with others that they might come to know and love Him, too.


  1. Amen! Yours is the second alabaster box post I've read this week....the title always catches my's one of my favorites.

  2. Grammy, yours is the second post I read this week as well.

    I know God is speaking to me, but it has not been revealed yet. I know I have always related to this woman more than the other women in the Bible.

    Thank you for sharing. I pray I might lay a strong foundation for my children and leave a memorial of relationship, love, and godliness in their lives.

    I also wanted to thank you for leaving those wonderful verses on TIME FOR EVERYTHING. It was much needed and welcomed.

    God bless you, Grammy.

    With sweet affection,



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