3 While He was in Bethany [as a guest] at the home of [a]Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, a [b]woman came with an alabaster vial of very costly and precious perfume of pure [c]nard; and she broke the vial and poured the perfume over His head. 4 But there were [d]some who were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? 5 For this perfume might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii [a laborer’s wages for almost a year], and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why are you bothering her and causing trouble? She has done a good and beautiful thing to Me.7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do something good to them; but you will not always have Me.8 She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial.9 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, wherever the good news [regarding salvation] is proclaimed throughout the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
Mark 14:3John the Apostle identifies this woman as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus (Matt 26:7; John 12:3). Jesus was anointed in a similar way by an unnamed woman when he was in Galilee dining at the home of a Pharisee (Luke 7:36-39).
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