There are two cases where a woman anointed the feet of Jesus. Let’s begin by reading Luke 7:36-38, “And one of the Pharisees desired Him that He would eat with Him. And He went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” This unnamed woman, who is simply called “a sinner,” was compelled to enter into a Pharisee’s house in order to anoint the feet of the Savior of sinners. We believe it was a display her love and affections for the Lord Who had forgiven her, for the Lord Jesus said, in verse 47, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” She “loved much” because she had been “forgiven much,” and she was willing to lavish upon her newfound Savior a whole box of precious perfume to show to all in the house her appreciation and gratitude for being forgiven.

The second case of a woman anointing the feet of Jesus is found in three passages: Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; and John 12:1-8. Let’s read John 12:1-3, “Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.” In the first case noted above, the anointing took place in the house of a Pharisee, but in Mark 14:3 we learn that this anointing happened “in the house of Simon the leper.” The former was done by an unnamed sinful woman; this was done by Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. We saw that the anointing by the unnamed sinner was to signify the love of a newly forgiven soul, but with Mary there was another reason that constrained her to empty her box of costly ointment upon the Savior’s feet. That reason is given in John 12:7, “Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.” Mark 14:8 is even more specific, for it says “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial” (NKJV). She anointed the Lord Jesus’ feet in view of His impending death and burial! She was no doubt expressing her love for her Savior, as in the case of the sinful woman in the home of the Pharisee, but she had also entered into the truth that the Lord Jesus was on His way to the cross to die for her and this was her chance to anoint Him in anticipation of His burial. I have always admired Mary for she seems to have been the only disciple that truly believed Jesus when he announced that He would be crucified, buried and then rise from the dead the third day. Mary BELIEVED HIM and expressed her faith by anointing His feet! The Lord Jesus was so moved by her faith that He declared, in Mark 14:9Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (NKJV).  (179.7)  (DO)