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"Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Mark 14.9

How ironic that Jesus should justify the woman who anointed him with expensive ointment at the house of Simon the Leper with these words - and yet her name is not recorded. As if that were not enough of a mystery, for what exactly is she being commended? That much at least is revealed by the context...

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. He knows what awaits him: capture and death. He has tried to explain it and how it falls within God's plan but none of his disciples is getting it. And then this woman appears and performs an act which he interprets as preparing his body for death and that is enough: wittingly or otherwise she has responded appropriately.

From a faith perspective we might say that the woman was acting under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. For that reason alone she deserves commendation: not for her own insight, wisdom or virtue but because she was willing to act in obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. So her name is not what matters, for her action speaks louder than words - and names!



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