Daily Word

Anointing for burial | Matthew 26:6-13

6 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. 7 While he was eating,[ b ] a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.

8 The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. 9 “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

Matthew 26:6-13 (NLT) 中文


The prophecy has been spoken and is already in the process of being fulfilled. The high priests and Israel’s spiritual leaders are plotting His demise. Little do they know God is “miles ahead of them” since He prophesied it hundreds of years earlier and Jesus already knows and has told His disciples.

Costly love

So continuing the drama, Jesus is now at the home of Simon – a leper He had previously healed (we can assume). They’re all reclining at the table having dinner. Note: They didn’t typically eat at tables with chairs as we do today but laid on their sides (not quite like Michaelangelo’s Last Supper). 

“Set between two scenes of hatred—the plot of the priests (26:3–5) and Judas’s betrayal (26:14–16)—is a love story. It is one of the greatest love stories in the Greatest Love Story ever told.” (TGC) In the middle of the meal, a woman enters, goes directly to Jesus, and pours a small perfume jar of exquisitely expensive perfume on Jesus’ head. We can interpret it as a sign of her love. “She loves him more than even her prized possession. She loves him with a costly love.” (TGC

Disciple’s wrong thinking

The disciples are focusing on the wrong thing. This thinking is vocalized clearly by Judas Iscariot (John 12:4-6) who, in the next passage, betrays Jesus. Jesus turns it around. We have to wonder, “Is anything wasted which is all for Jesus? It might rather seem as if all would be wasted which was not given to him.” (Spurgeon)

But that’s not all. They also thought they were being spiritual by telling Jesus what is better! I think they were focusing more on the waste and used the poor people piece as a quick example of how to “better” spend the money. It’s true we should take care of the poor. Jesus just taught that in the sheep and goats (Matthew 25:34-40). But they need to value the most valuable thing (One) – especially since His time with them is short. 

Anointing for burial

Jesus defends the woman for her sacrifice of love. This is an anointing pointing to His coming death. Can you imagine the thoughts and emotions flooding Him? He was receiving this pure demonstration of love while at the same time realizing it was pointing to His death. 


  • How often do we find ourselves in the same situation as James, John, Peter et al? We have a wrong concept of God’s love and law. Either we have not studied His Word enough or, maybe we let our selfish instincts and desires overwhelm our spirit. There’s never any better time than now to change!
  • Does that Spurgeon quote grab you? Do we have things that we don’t give to Jesus? Whatever we have, including ourselves, we should offer to Him. “Come unto me”, Jesus beckons us. Paul tells us to, “offer up ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1).

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