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March 18th: Anointing

Today's devotional comes from Taryn Flake. Have a blessed day.

Scripture: Mark 14:1-11


Once again, Mark is full of action in these 11 verses. First, we hear of a plot to kill Jesus by the chief priests and teachers of the law. Second, we hear the story of the unnamed women anointing Jesus’ body for burial. Third, Judas agrees to betray Jesus.


The story of Jesus being anointed is covered in all 4 gospels - Matthew 26:6-16, Mark 14:3-9, Luke 7:36-50, and John 12:1-8. I am rereading 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole. She postulates that there are actually 3 anointings of Jesus. Here is the chart from her book explaining the differences:

Chole says, “Jesus was anointed twice during Passover Week in preparation for His burial.” She also includes that Jesus still would have been fairly fragranced after being anointed. Judas would have smelled Jesus as he betrayed Jesus with a kiss. The soldiers would have smelled Jesus as they beat and crucified Him. Those thoughts struck me as how powerful these anointings were. Whether one anointing or three, all four gospel writers felt the story was important enough to include.


Finally, Mary’s/the sinful woman’s/the unnamed woman’s generosity and selflessness are contrasted with Judas’ greed and selfishness. The chief priests were delighted to receive the bribe to betray Jesus. This quickness in Mark’s action-packed verses adds to the suspense and acceleration towards the cross and eventual resurrection.


One thing that is not included in the chart is the price differential. In both Mark & John, it mentions that the perfume could have been sold for a year’s wages or three hundred denarii. In Matthew, it just says that it was worth a high price. A minimum wage job, 40 hours a week, 52 weeks in a year would earn $29,120 in 2024. Could you imagine buying a $29,120 perfume today? I can’t.


What do you have to offer Jesus that is worth $29,120? Some of us volunteer our time, but I doubt many would say that we worked enough time volunteering to equate to the hours of a full-time job. Just as in the widow’s mite, Mary/the sinful woman/the unnamed woman gave generously and without reserve. May we take these examples and give extravagantly and generously towards furthering God’s kingdom today.



  1. How does the possibility of more anointings enhance your understanding of these anointings?

  2. How does adding fragrance to the crucifixion of Jesus enhance your understanding of the gospel today?

  3. What can you offer liberally to God today?



Dear God, Please allow me to reflect on the generosity of those who anointed You. Please show me how I can give without holding anything back and in what areas of my life that I need to offer You more. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen


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