Mark 14:1-11

Talks for Growing Christians

The Account of Mary of Bethany Anointing the Lord

Mark 14:1-11

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Lesson Number 59

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Worship involves sacrifice.
  2. Worship is not a waste.

Practical Application

  1. Have we done what we could?
  2. Is it possible that you are a Judas in disguise?


  1. Explain the Feast of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
  2. Who was Simon the leper?
  3. Was Mary’s anointing of Jesus as shocking to them as it would be to us?
  4. Why did Mary anoint the Lord Jesus?
  5. How did Jesus’ companions respond when Mary anointed Him?


  1. These were two of the seven annual feasts in the Jewish calendar. Since they shortly followed one another, Jews from all over Palestine and the Roman Empire would be in Jerusalem to celebrate.
  2. He was a leper who had been healed by Jesus. He was possibly either Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’ father, or Martha’s husband.
  3. No, it was not out of place in their culture. It was common at that time to anoint your guests’ head and feet with ointment.
  4. It was more than a gesture of welcome to her guest. She realized that He was about to die, thus she was anointing His body for burial (Mark 14:8).
  5. They criticized her for “wasting” this valuable perfume, saying she should have sold it instead and given the money to the poor.


  1. The events of Jesus’ last week were not a surprise to Him. He knew Judas would betray Him; He knew He would be put to death. All of these events were under the sovereign control of God. See Matthew 26:2 and Acts 2:23. If you knew this suffering was in your future, would you have continued? Although He knew the horror that awaited Him, Christ endured all of this for your sake. Praise Him for this today.
  2. Worship is not a waste. Do not be discouraged when unbelievers, or even fellow believers, criticize you for “spending too much time” on your Christianity. Your worship is valuable and precious to God. Discuss things that this world finds valuable, but that, from an eternal perspective, are a waste. Your worship will have eternal value.


  1. How costly is your worship of God? Are you giving God only your spare time and thoughts, or are you giving Him the best you can afford?

Key Verses

  • "For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.” Mark 14:7 “She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.” Mark 14:8

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