Jesus is staying at the home of Simon the leper–interesting that we don’t hear of a healing here–when a woman comes in and anoints his head with a very expensive ointment. The disciples are appalled; why not give this money to the poor? Jesus stops them, saying “The poor will always be with you…she is anointing me ahead of time for my burial.” Something in Judas snaps; he goes to the religious leaders and makes arrangements to notify them when Jesus is not in the public eye so that they can arrest him. (Mark 14)
Although my church is busy with preparations for Holy Week, today I hear the pause in Jesus’ week. Starting in Mark 11-13, we have a busy Sunday, Monday and especially Tuesday. Jesus may have taught on this day, but what we hear is that he was at the home of Simon the leper–we see very little activity on Jesus’ part.
Was Jesus resting? Gathering his strength? Did the time crawl by? Did seconds seem like hours? Did time seem like an enemy? Did Jesus savor small talk with friends–every day mundane conversations he knew he would not be having in the future? Did he watch Judas leave, knowing his errand? Or perhaps was he pausing to reflect on what was to come, allowing it to sink in like that expensive perfume, rejuvenating his body and spirit, reminding him of the glory to come through his death.
What did Jesus do on this day? In some way, he was preparing for what was to come. How do we prepare ourselves for what is to come?
Lord, help me to now remember what is coming that I might join with you in your sufferings rather than curse you, deny you, or turn from you in your saving work; may your incomprehensible action become more dear to me in this Holy Week. Amen.