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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mary of Bethany

I have been intrigued for several years by the stories in the gospels of a woman, or a couple different women, anointing Jesus with some kind of perfume. Actually I've become pretty well convinced that the story in Luke 7:36-50 is a different occasion and a different woman from the other three in Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, and John 12:1-8, all three of which seem to describe the same incident. I believe the two incidents are closely related, and in fact happened in the same place, but probably a couple years apart.

The last few months this sense of being intrigued has grown into a sense of awe at what these women did in making themselves "contemptible" (see 2 Samuel 6:22) as they poured out their worship to Jesus. I wrote this first-person narrative to try to get inside the heart of Mary of Bethany in this situation. Her anointing of Jesus happened early in Holy Week, so this seems like a good time to post this piece.

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