“In Memory of Her”

Text: Matthew 26:6-13

The deed performed by the woman in our text may have seemed insignificant. By the reaction of the disciples, it may have seemed unnecessary, foolish, or even wrong. However, Jesus said this deed was important enough to remember wherever the gospel is preached. So let us examine this record and consider four lessons we can learn from her deed.

Act of Love

  • She performed a “good deed” for Jesus (v. 10) – loving others is not just about talking about how much we love them (1 John 3:18), it is about doing good for others (Galatians 5:13)
  • Our love for the Lord should lead us to serve Him – He is not in the flesh, but we serve Him today by obeying His commandments (1 John 5:3; John 14:15)
  • Our love for others should lead us to help as we have opportunity to do so (Galatians 6:10)

Act of Sacrifice

  • She used “an alabaster vial of very costly perfume” (v. 7) – worth 300 denarii (John 12:5); a denarius was a standard daily wage
  • We must be willing to sacrifice to follow the Lord – often this will mean sacrificing wealth/material things (Matthew 19:21-22; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Ephesians 4:28)
  • Ultimately, we must sacrifice our lives for Him (Luke 9:23) – from this perspective, the 300 denarii sacrifice becomes much easier to make (cf. Matthew 19:23-26,29)

Act of Courage

  • This took courage because it was a public gathering – in the home of Simon (v. 6) with the disciples (v. 8), Lazarus and Martha (John 12:2), and possibly others present
  • The act opened her up to criticism/questioning (v. 8-9) – do not worry about how others will judge your actions; strive to please God (Romans 14:4)
  • Christians often worry about how others will think of them – yet we will necessarily be different (Romans 12:2)

Act of Faith

  • Jesus had already indicated that He would die (Matthew 26:1-2) – this act of anointing Jesus was to “prepare [Him] for burial” (v. 12); she believed this
  • We must believe the words of Jesus if we want to be saved (John 5:24; Luke 8:12)
  • Faith comes from hearing His word (Romans 10:17) – leads to action (James 2:24)

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