A Certain Woman
In these verses Mark records, by divine inspiration, the story of a woman coming into the house of Simon the leper and anointing the Lord Jesus for his burial. It is an event recorded in all four of the gospel narratives (Matt. 26, Mark 14, Luke 7, and John 12). Comparing Scripture with Scripture, I cannot avoid the conclusion that this woman was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, and that she is the same woman referred to as Mary Magdalene, out of whom the Lord Jesus had cast seven devils (Mk. 16:9; Lk. 8:2). Perhaps the reason Mark withheld her name was modesty. Most likely, this woman was his mother.
She was a remarkable woman, modest and unassuming. She said very little. In fact, so far as I can determine, there is only one sentence written in the Scriptures which was spoken by Mary. It is found in John 11:32. “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”
Yet, it is obvious that Mary was a woman of great wisdom, devotion, and faith, a woman who truly loved the Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God presents Mary to us as an example of faith, devotion, and love on four different occasions.
1. We see Mary sitting at the Lord’s feet, absorbing every word which fell from his lips (Lk. 10:39).
2. We see her falling at the Master’s feet in humble, submissive faith (John 11:32).
As a broken-hearted woman might run into the arms of her husband for comfort, Mary ran to the Lord Jesus, fell at his feet, and sought comfort in him in her time of great sorrow.
3. We see Mary early in the morning of the resurrection at the tomb where our Lord’s body had been buried (Matt. 28:1-9).
She was the first one to hear the good news of the resurrection. She was the first one to see the risen Christ. This woman was the first one to proclaim the resurrection.
4. Here in Mark 14, we see Mary in the house of Simon the leper breaking an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious,” anointing the Lord Jesus for his burial (Mk. 14:3-9).
This picture of this dear woman is perhaps the most instructive of the four. Our Lord himself declares “She hath wrought a good work on me” (v.6). “She hath done what she could” (v.8). “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her” (v.9). Truly, this woman sets before us a remarkable example to follow. She who had been forgiven much loved much and gave much. Blessed is that man or woman who has been given grace to do so!