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The Bethany Prophecy
by Wayne Blank
"Wherever this Gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her"
While at the house of a leper (in itself an amazing act of faith - on the part of those who accompanied Jesus inside, even if the man had already been cured, as had been done for others e.g. "While He was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and besought Him, "Lord, if You will, You can make me clean." And He stretched out His hand, and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him," Luke 5:12-13 RSV), a woman took "an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on His head."
"Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on His head, as He sat at table." (Matthew 26:6-7 RSV)
The lady recognized Christ as The Anointed One ("Messiah" in the Hebrew and "Christ" in the Greek both mean Anointed One); what she did with the "ointment" was an ointment, an anointment (see Ointment). The others who were there did not object to her doing that, for they too recognized the Christ as the Christ, but they complained, in effect, about wasting an expensive ointment for such a symbolic purpose.
"But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for a large sum, and given to the poor." (Matthew 26:8-9 RSV)
Christ firmly told them that what the lady did was right, and not to criticize her.
"But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to Me." (Matthew 26:10 RSV)
Jesus recognized the needs of the poor, but it is through the sacrifice of the Messiah that the Kingdom of God is going to come in which there will be no one poor. Christ then blessed her for her faith
"For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have Me. In pouring this ointment on My body she has done it to prepare Me for burial." (Matthew 26:11-12 RSV)
"Truly, I say to you, wherever this Gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her." (Matthew 26:13 RSV)
Prophecy is real. You have just proved it, not only for yourself, but by means of yourself.
Fact Finder: What miracle did Jesus do for Lazarus? What clue does the Bible provide as to the identity of the woman in the prophecy?