The Anointing at Bethany

Open Your Bible

Matthew 26:14-16, Mark 14:3-11, Luke 22:3-6

In October of my first semester in college, I repented and gave my life to Christ. As a young believer I wanted to know everything I could about Jesus. I remember being in my dorm room, joyful tears streaming down my face as I learned how to study my Bible for the first time. The deep satisfaction of knowing my faith was real kept my fervor for the Lord strong. During Christmas break, my boyfriend from high school proposed. Though we were young, my family liked him and saw him as a good option for marriage. Though many transitions were happening fast, I was joyful for the season.

Shortly after giving my life to Christ, I had joined a women’s discipleship group. We shared our joys and struggles and helped one another walk in truth. One afternoon, I met with my group leader, and she challenged me to lay my relationship with my fiance before the Lord. 

I had prayed many times before about my engagement. Though we both professed faith in Christ, my fervor and excitement for the Lord was starting to become a point of tension. After much prayer, I made that very difficult decision to call off the engagement and ultimately end our relationship. He was quite angry and hurt. My family thought I was taking my relationship with God too seriously. It was truly a difficult season of feeling misunderstood, seen as bizarre and over the top. But that one decision greatly changed the trajectory of my life from that moment on.

In our reading today, we met a woman who makes quite a scene showing her great faith in Christ. In this account, we don’t have a description of who she is or how long she has been following Jesus. We don’t even get her name in this version of the story. Her anointing of Jesus was bold, beautiful, very costly, and she was ridiculed for it. But whatever fears or apprehension she may have had prior to this moment did not keep her from publicly worshiping the Messiah. Her actions tell us she understood who Jesus was and acted upon this knowledge regardless of the cost, financially or socially. 

Following Christ will inevitably put us in some awkward situations. Many will question the decisions we make. Many will lack understanding, believing we are wasting our time, money, and resources on the things of God. Many will wonder why we chose to live in certain neighborhoods or question the company we keep. But we can take heart in knowing that when we walk by faith, we can rest assured our heavenly Father sees our good deeds and we will not be scoffed at by the Most High. May we find His presence an embrace worthy of such devotion.

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64 thoughts on "The Anointing at Bethany"

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  2. Latrice Zebouchi says:

    Amen ❤️

  3. Claire says:

    Victoria E….hope all is well ♥️

  4. Claire B says:


  5. Ellen Anderson says:

    This is beautiful and so timely, Jakell. Thank you for writing it.

  6. Anne S says:

    The readings are bringing us closer and closer to the events of holy Thursday, good Friday, and, of course, Easter Sunday. I appreciate Jakell’s devotional today, reminding us that we, walking by faith, will not be scoffed at by the Most High. As someone who sometimes (often?) struggles with people-pleasing, I try to take a breath and remember to try to please God instead. May God help me in this every day.

  7. Shaena Elizabeth says:

    Praise God! ❤️ thank you for the update ADRIENNE. Prayers for your friend and her daughter as well. God is a great redeemer.

  8. Sonja Cox says:

    So interesting the two different people in this passage! The woman gave all to Jesus and was given back more than she could have ever imagined, LIFE! Judas took and lost his life to eternal destruction!

  9. Gwineth52 says:

    So many lovely comments today from Kenya & other Shes … contrasting Mary who anointed our Lord, with Judas who betrayed Him. May we trumpet HER selfless piety, courage, and generosity … over the ages & annals of our faith … ever MORE LOUDLY!! I see her “ceremonial offering” like the “sacred communion” we celebrate on Sundays “in remembrance” of His sacrifice in body & blood. Thanks be to God.

  10. Traci Gendron says:

    I’m also doing a Bible study called Women in the Easter Story. This spoke volumes to me. Especially after losing my only son.

    Easter is a reminder that our present suffering cannot be compared to the glory that is to come (Romans 8:18). Those three days were the worst days of Mary’s life … and the best days in the history of all mankind!

  11. Jennifer Anapol says:

    It’s interesting that both of the stories we read today mention money. One person was willing to give a year’s wages to Jesus and another was willing to betray him for thirty pieces of silver.

  12. Jennifer Anapol says:

    Liana Delacorte, I will be praying you continue with your search to find the truth. I pray you would be comforted and strengthened by God’s Holy Spirit, when people don’t understand you.

  13. Brooke P says:

    I read through and prayed for you all in the comments and those not here that usually are, and those who aren’t commenting I prayed for you too. You all are so loved. God is near to you all. LIANA D. Keep after it, no matter what, your dedication to learning the word of God just MAY bring your husband around by your example (1 Peter 3:1-2)! I am so glad you’re here! :: I wanted to thank you all for your continued prayers for me, my husband and our sweet baby boy! I am 21 weeks today & I have an appointment with a high risk specialist for another scan on April 21st. If y’all would be praying that all would be healthy & our baby would be doing well I would be so appreciative. And also any other good thoughts in your prayers for our pregnancy I covet!! Thank you sisters! ❤️

  14. Terri Baldwin says:

    She was so brave to put herself in the presence of Jesus to anoint Him with precious oils. Such a noble gesture …..I need some of her courage.

  15. Dorothy says:

    Another woman in the Bible remember even in several accounts they don’t mention her name. According to my Study Bible the account in the Book of John mentions her by name, Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. This month of the woman let us also remember the women of the Bible that made a difference. Not just the Old Testament but the New Testament — the three Marys. Jesus mother, Mary, if she hadn’t gone along with God’s plan. Mary of Bethany, who’s brother Jesus brother rose from the dead and who listened so intently to Jesus stories. Lastly but not least, Mary Magdalene, who Christ saved from being stoned and taught everyone a valuable lesson. Then there are many women after the resurrection. With this story let us celebrate all these beautiful, God-fearing, loving, wonderful women of God’s Word.
    Sisters be blessed and remember a God-fearing, wonderful in your life today and always — mine today is my mom.

  16. K Swenson says:

    LIANA DELACORTE thank you for sharing. Praying for you and your husband today as you navigate your growing faith. The Lord is so worth it and I trust he will guide you as you seek Him.

  17. Mercy says:

    The story of Mary giving the Lord such high cost alabaster flask of fragrant oil caused many people (disciples- aka fellow believers) indignant and they criticizedher sharply. It’s her resources anyways and she can choose to do what she pleases. This shows me sometimes you choose to be so generous and you come across such harsh reaction from the church/christians. May we recognize the motives of such criticism and encourage our heart to worship God throughour giving, regardless. Such act was commended by the Lord himself stating this will be a forever memorial to be mentioned everytime. Praying for our sisters request over marriages, relationships, families.
    @Michelle P my mom too experienced these demonic dreams where she saw demons in dreams and she felt paralyzed. I prayed with her in agreement and we take authority and power over demonic spirits (Luke 10:19), forbidding them to ever harrass her through dreams again, command them to go, and pray for God’s hand to deliver her in this matter. Then it was gone. Praise God. Praying for you.

  18. Candy Beth says:

    My husband and I met in high school. I loved him so much and he was my best friend. My parents were against him just because he was shy and didn’t really talk with them. Putting him before God and agreeing to His will was the scariest and hardest thing I have ever done. But he said YES and I couldn’t have gone through all the things in my life without him, my love and soulmate. We both marvel at how blessed we are to have each other and to have found each other so young. We are going to celebrate 44 years of marriage and 48 years of being together this July! God is so good!

  19. Lori Lackey says:

    I had to make a choice between relationship (read: love if my life,or so I thought) and Jesus. I will be honest and say I struggled, and it hurt more than anything else, but I would do it again. Like the author wrote, it changed the he trajectory of my life. I have been married for 14 years now to someone God hand chose for me. (That is another story). My x fiancé has since become a believer and is also very happily married. God is faithful, even if we don’t see it in the midst of the pain and heartache. ❤️

  20. Margaret W says:

    Laura and Courtney (and all of us who love ❤️), you can love and affirm your daughters without affirming their lifestyle. You don’t even have to talk about it. (Maybe that would agree to a relationship under those terms?) They know you raised them and what you believe; now they need to see the unconditional love of Jesus lived out in your lives. That is not the same thing as giving approval.

  21. Melissa Mcronney says:


  22. Sue Dalos says:

    @Liana Delacorte. I am in a similar place at home. My prayers go up for both of us to stand strong and soak in everything we can remembering that all things are possible with God holding us.

  23. MARTHA HIX says:

    Thank you @searching and others for mentioning your continued prayers and concern for me. I am here and reading every day… appreciating the compassion of our SRT united family and because of Jesus’ love for us. ❤️

  24. Lexi B says:

    I changed up my routine as I am training for a long hike. I have missed my mornings with SRT. So nice to start my morning with y’all again!

    Jakell, thank you for your devotional and the reminder of what I need to lay down at Christ’s feet instead of holding onto things.

    Michelle P- I too have struggled with dreams like this, where I wake up yelling Jesus’s name. It can be so distrubing, but what I love is this- I call out his name and the dreams instantly cease. When I get them, I try to increase my prayer/study time and seek God to see if there is anything in my life that may be allowing these dreams to happen. Praying for you that the nightmare cease, you have restful sleep and peaceful dreams.

    Laura- I will pray for your daughter that her heart turns back to God. Prayers for you as well as you deal with the separation. I don’t have children; I can’t imagine how hard this is for you and I am sorry it is happening.

    I have a prayer request: I gave my notice last week and God has been blessing me ever since! I have a meeting with a potiential client/ partner for the next two days and then another meeting on Friday. Praying that these meetings produce relationships that give me a steady stream of clients. For the first time in my life, I have NO idea what the future holds. But I am letting go and trusting God with it.

  25. Betsey Walton says:

    Glad to “see” you back, Taylor! Praying for you

  26. Allison Bentley says:

    Thanks Arina – such a beautiful contrast! Praising God the reality is both are important! Lord help me to focus on Your needs- not my own!

  27. Lauren R says:


  28. Laurie Smith says:

    “You are worthy of it all, You are worthy of it all. For from you are all things, and to you are so things. You deserve the glory. ” This worship song came to mind after this reading. Let’s pour it ALL out to Him without fear in faith.

  29. Rachel says:

    So many wonderful reflections here this morning! I have a ridiculously sensitive sense of smell and so often have memories triggered by a passing scent. Can you even imagine the overwhelming fragrance in the room as the pure nard was poured out? It would likely have clung to everyone present. When they left, they would have taken the scent with them. Were their memories of that day triggered by fragrance forever after? 2 Cor 2:15-16 says “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.” Do I leave the fragrance of life, of Christ, in my wake?

  30. Liana Delacorte says:

    Lord, I thank you for today. Todays reading was exactly what my heart needed. You always know what is best for me. My desire to begin learning the ways of the Church and read the Bible has caused tension in my home as my husband is a devout agnostic and doesn’t understand why I would have any interest in the Bible. I am still learning and questioning but I know that I find peace and comfort in the words I read. This feeling of peace and happiness keeps me coming back for more. This reminder that it is okay to be misunderstood is so comforting. I read it as a sign that I am moving in the right direction.

  31. Liana Delacorte says:

    I thank you for today. Todays reading was exactly what my heart needed. You always know what is best for me. My desire to begin learning the ways of the Church has caused tension in my

  32. Mary Macdonald says:

    What a way to honor our LORD, may our hearts become so willing to give.

  33. Taylor says:

    Hello sisters! I haven’t been on SRT since 3/23 due to a crazy season of travelling to visit friends and family in 3 different states (and 10 flights) over the last 3 weeks. I am very ready to fall back into my routine of starting my days in the Word as I feel farther from the Lord due to the traveling and lack of devotions & church. This devotion has challenged me today as I feel myself holding onto certain situations in my life with a death grip of my will over the Lords. This devotion challenged me to lay everything down at the feet of Jesus, knowing and trusting that His will is so much better than mine (easier said than done). I’ve been feeling anxious about certain situations (relationships, my job/future) and I think it’s related to my desire to have control. However, there is peace to be found when I give over control knowing that God works all things out for my good. Praying I can have the faith to live more open-handed and live my life in surrender as we see Mary doing here! I hope you all are doing well and lifting up the prayer requests mentioned today <3

  34. Kyle Hopkins says:

    Brandi- yes! “What precious things am I holding on to instead of pouring them on my Savior”! We should all be asking this of ourselves!

  35. Kyle Hopkins says:

    That is really profound, Kenya! Yes- a question we should all ask ourselves. Thank you for this insight!

  36. Karen Edwards says:

    Beautiful news! Congratulations!!

  37. Courtney Davis says:

    Laura, we have a similar situation with our 21 year old stepdaughter who is living a very different life with publicly showing her opinions of her disbelief. It is very sad but I too just pray that God may turn this season for her into something very useful in a one day testimony. This type of situation is certainly only one that God can bring restoration to. Praying for your daughter.

  38. Katherine M says:

    Some of you may recall that a few weeks ago I shared that we recieved our first positive pregnancy test after al

  39. Morgan Latham says:

    Help mold my heart to be more like the woman with the perfume and less like Judas.

  40. Kelsey Brice says:

    Praying for your family, Laura ♥️

  41. Michelle Patire says:

    Hey, just want to also ask briefly for prayers. I’ve been having awful nightmares past few days- I’m not sure if it is an area of sin or just an attack of the enemy to distract me. It is discouraging. I have struggled much in that area in the past when I went through a season of misunderstanding the voice of God.*SENSITIVE CONTENT* The other night I had one of those dreams where you are oppressed by a demon and you wake up saying Jesus. Please pray God gives me wisdom and assurance. Thank you.

  42. Ellen Morris says:

    Karrie, I too had a difficult marriage (to a believer). I found it helpful to pray “ change me to be the wife he needs me to “, “continue the great work You have begun in our lives” and “fill me with Your supernatural love” because right now I don’t feel much love for him! Continually give it to God reminding Him that He has the perfect remedy!!! Ellen

  43. Michelle Patire says:


    May your daughter be caught and changed by the love of God. I can’t imagine what you all are feeling. May your daughter remember you by your love, not by your beliefs. May God change her heart and help her see that loving discipline leads to repentance. May you and your husband be comforted by God and be led in such wisdom, in such a sensitive situation.
    God, please give this child — who I name as Your daughter, eyes to see Your heart for her life, God. May other Christians speak life over her and may she see this path she is on leads to destruction. God, You have done that for me, so I pray You do the impossible with her, too. Open her eyes, Lord, to deception. Give her grace and lead her away from this evil, by any means necessary, but keep her under the shadow of Your wing. Please bless her to see all she needs is You, not the world. I ask this in your name, Jesus. With you all things are possible. Thank you.

  44. Sarah Nunneley says:

    I will pray for you Laura! I don’t have children, but I am fearful of a future like this. I can’t imagine what it must be like. I will pray for stronger faith to weather the storm! God is with you both.

  45. Ayanna Brown says:

    Such a good reminder about laying down our lives to follow Christ especially when it comes to relationships! Great post!!

  46. Denise Cooke says:

    I love this ❤️ What a great take away from the readings. Thank you.

  47. Sarah D. says:

    Good morning sisters!! It’s been a better week this week. Last week my mindset was not good, just had a negative attitude, even though things at work were okay. Learning how to not take things personally, be firm, and not be a wallflower or get stepped on. I have something to offer and I have worth and value! This story of Jesus’ anointing reminds me of an Easter pageant I was in about 10 years ago at our old church (I was on the dance team). They had this scene where the woman poured oil on Jesus’ feet and wiped it with her hair. During the scene the choir sang “Pour My Love on You” by Phillips Craig and Dean, definitely recommend listening to! Thank you for your prayers , just two more days and then I have a long weekend! Thankful for this week to remember Jesus and his sacrifice. Thankful that we can and should remember it all year round. Praying I can share his amazing love with others.

  48. Aimee D-R says:

    Lord let me be bold in my love for you! AMEN

  49. Kenya Rafferty says:

    I love the very obvious contrast between Judas and the woman. Her willingness to give up financial comfort for Jesus was everything to her, while Judas was willing to give up Jesus for financial comfort – everything to him. I don’t think the woman did this for show – I think she truly wanted to honor who and what she believed in. I wonder how much of what Judas was doing was for show? To say he was the one who did it? Who do I act more like? Do I live my life sacrificing and giving all to Jesus or do I live my life trying to get the attention on me at all costs, even the cost of Jesus?

  50. Laura says:

    This is perfect for my current situation. We had a family counseling session with our daughter last night. She has been living a life completely contrary to God’s Word and to her upbringing for about 2 years. We have been estranged since then and this was the first time we ever met all together to try to resolve the separation. She wants us to affirm her lifestyle and we have said that we cannot because we believe God’s Word to be truth, not the “truth” that the world is promoting. The end result was separation. She does not want a relationship with us if we cannot affirm her choices. She accused us of being delusional. Told us that other counselors she has talked to about it say we are delusional and losing our minds. The world doesn’t understand God’s way and why you would choose His Truth over losing a family member. But we feel so strongly that this is our mission. That this is what God has called us to do. That even though the sacrifice hurts and it is painful, and many people do not understand it, we must not waver on our belief in His Truth. It will take a miracle to turn our daughter’s heart around and toward God. We are praying for a miracle, but until then, we wait and pray.

    1. Amy Martin says:

      My prayers for you all.

  51. Karrie says:

    Good morning, it’s 5am here and I’m up doing my reading early as I cannot sleep. We are in a “historic” blizzard that could possibly cut off power. I’m prepared for the worst but am fearful of the unknown. I struggle with trying to stay in control instead of giving my fears to God and letting him look after it all. My husband and I are working on our marriage and I see now how we both made wrong choices and I’m working very hard to change my ways. I have come to realize that I have no control (like during the blizzard today) and I am trying ever so much to give up that control and give it to God but some days are harder than others. I’m still struggling with my girls and their relationship with my husband. They don’t understand forgiveness and they have external influences telling them it’s okay to be unforgiving and say hurtful things. I pray that their hearts will soften with time and my family will once again find joy and happiness. Thank you Searching and everyone else who has kept me in their prayers, it is very much appreciated.

  52. Brandi says:

    Wow. What precious things am I holding on to instead of pouring them on my Savior? What things that I love or think I need am I keeping for myself instead of giving to Him? Father, I don’t want to hold on to anything but You! I don’t want to hold out or hold back. I want to give in worshipful abandon knowing You are all I need!

  53. Stormi Messmer says:


  54. Regine says:

    Thank you Jakell! What you wrote fits soo well with my situation. People do not understand the decisions I’m making right now even though they are Christians. I get some harsh criticism and there will certainly come more. Exactly things you wrote about, the neighborhood I choose to live in, the company I keep and most of all saying no to a man out of obedience to God. I was too scared to tell people the obedience to God is the reason for decisions I’m making and that was a big mistake. It is so encouraging to read how God honored this woman and she can inspire others. Prayers for me to live with people calling my faith too extreme, walking this sometimes lonely road would be appreciated! And of course I also get my doubts and need to bring them to Jesus again & again.

  55. Patricia Tralongo says:

    Great responses everyone. We all have a tendency to have a little Judas and even Peter in us. Let’s accept the task of speaking Jesus to a hurting world in honor of our Lord during this Holy Week. After all that’s what Jesus has called us to. Go out and make disciples of ALL nations. Please do it with a gentle heart as the Bible says. Good bless you all.

  56. Shaena Elizabeth says:

    Wow sorry for the multiple posts!!

  57. Angie says:

    Do I love Jesus for Jesus, or for what He can do for me?

    The woman, who in John we find out is Mary, (the sister of Lazarus and Martha), poured the perfume over the head of Jesus. (I was struck with the fact that she actually did it herself, not giving it to one of Jesus’ disciples to take care of.) Perfume worth a years wages, possibly her dowery, was her future, and she spent it on Jesus as an act of worship. Judas was angered by it. He was in charge of the money, (and would at times use it to line his own pockets). This act of extravagance towards Jesus took from what Judas had available-so Judas made up the money he would have lost by betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
    Mary’s priority was Jesus, Judas’ priority was Judas. Mary followed out of a heart of love and faith in Who Jesus was and is. Judas used Jesus for what He could give him.
    In subtle situations or big events throughout life we have that same choice. We will today. We will tomorrow.
    Soften my heart Lord to love you fully and completely for Who you are, not what is in it for me. May I be willing to give according to Your plan and purpose. And, to know and obey when You call me to do the pouring out myself. I thank you for the blessing of service in advance Lord. Amen.

  58. Kelly (NEO) says:

    I have heard teachers speculate that the perfume may have been the woman’s dowery and she was sacrificing her future for the chance to honor Jesus in the moment. Regardless, the perfume was probably the most valuable thing she owned. To “spend” it in lavish devotion to Jesus is a beautiful picture of worship.

  59. Shaena Elizabeth says:

    ADRIENNE thank you for your insights. It is easy to villan

  60. Searching says:

    Like some of you sisters commented yesterday, I’m also torn when I think of heaven and what I might not be here to see or experience as I am close to so many children in our extended family. But that is just my limited human mind, unable to grasp the infinite wonders and awesome of Almighty God. I instead try to focus on the influence I can have and make sure that they will, without a doubt, know that I love Jesus with all my heart.

    And thank you to those who mentioned the rousing old hymns yesterday, which was all we had when I was growing up way back when. And though I love today’s music (much of which comes straight from Scripture), there’s nothing like the old hymns to take me back to that old country church when life seemed less complicated.

    Thinking about and praying for theses sisters among others … VICTORIA E, ERB, KARRIE, MARTHA HIX, GRAMSIESUE, LYNNE FROM AL, K SWENSON, SARAH D, DOROTHY (Finley, Carol, Jake), TINA, CHURCHMOUSE and FOSTERMAMA.

  61. Jacqui Cunningham says:

    Beautifully said Arina ❤️

  62. Blessed Beth says:

    Praise God for you heart of listening to God, Jakell. You are an example to many. As I was reading this AM I realize how God wants us to be like the woman in Mark not necessarily with expensive oil but with our time, giving it to Him freely it is just as valuable.

  63. Arina says:

    There exists such a contrast between the woman and Judas. She honors Jesus, he betrays Him. She gives very expensive oil, while he uses Jesus to gain money. She is scolded, he is welcomed by the chief priests. Both their stories are still told today. Jesus knew their hearts. He honored the woman for what she did, while Judas later would have to face the consequences of his deeds. May I be like the woman, giving all I have to Jesus, even when that means being misunderstood or ridiculed.