Holy Wednesday: Jesus on the Move!
Meditating on the words and acts of Jesus anointed by a nameless woman and betrayed by a close friend!
What a contrast between the hypocrisy of the Religious Elite
& the humble, generous act of a follower!
All of Tuesday, Jesus teaches, debates, and pronounces bitter woes upon those who claim to be God’s Spokesman. Jesus’ seven woes leaves the Pharisees exposed as religious frauds and murderously enraged.
It is on the heels of this heated exchange that a nameless woman, perhaps a guest or servant of Simon the Leper, takes a bottle of very expensive perfume and anoints Jesus. Anointing with oil or perfumes was a prophetic act of empowerment by the Holy Spirit, the glory of God, and His holiness. Known or unknown to the woman, Jesus accepts her worshipful act as a special ministry to His heart. His death is coming, His mind and heart are heavy. Only empowerment from the Holy Spirit, motivated for The Father’s Glory, and vindicating His Holiness will keep Him moving forward toward sacrifice.
Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her (Matthew 26:6-13).”
In stark contrast, soon after this worshipful and empowering ministry, Judas leaves to sell out the Savior for 30 pieces of Silver. Ironically, those paying off Judas for his betrayal are the ones who were proclaiming their self-righteousness to Jesus just yesterday (i.e. The Pharisees). The woman knows who Jesus is and is moved to bless Him. Judas too knows who Jesus is but chooses to worship himself...as he has done all along stealing from the Disciples’ Fund.
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him (Matthew 26:14-16).