Very few women are mentioned in all four gospels. Well-known exceptions are Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the women who arrive at Jesus’ empty tomb. Another is the enduring story of the woman with the alabaster jar. Each gospel writer records her courageous actions from a different perspective (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-11).
Although the accounts differ, the biblical references have common threads: There was a woman who owned an alabaster jar of costly perfume; she entered the home where Jesus was seated for a meal; she used the costly spikenard, or essential oil, to anoint Jesus; her action outraged the disciples who were present. It is no wonder that each of the gospel writers includes some version of this powerful narrative.
The woman with the alabaster jar is immortalized in scripture because she is the embodiment of abundant living. This woman apparently needed nothing from Jesus. She went to Jesus to give.
This message is an excerpt from “Faith reflections: Bold action, bold discipleship” by Angela T. Khabeb, in the July 2015 issue of Cafe.
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