Books of the Book: Mark

The Most Expensive Gift & The Darkest Night

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Tom Shepherd, Kevin Hart


Series Code: MBOTB

Program Code: MBOTB00011A

00:21 Welcome to Books of the Book we are studying the book
00:23 of Mark, and I'm happy to tell you that we have
00:26 Professor Tom Shepherd from Andrews University.
00:28 Professor Tom Shepherd is a teacher of New Testament
00:32 Interpretation, welcome Professor.
00:34 Good, good to be with you again.
00:35 Kevin: I have got a question for you.
00:36 What is the most memorable gift you ever received?
00:40 Tom: well that's a great question, I do remember a
00:44 few years back where I was teaching at Union College
00:49 in Lincoln Nebraska, and it was the very day of our
00:53 25th wedding anniversary.
00:55 My wife and I have been married more than that now but
01:00 I think back 25 years, and I had gotten into a habit of
01:04 sending my wife flowers on our wedding anniversary.
01:08 Sometimes she would send something to me, I would send
01:11 her one flower for each year.
01:14 I remember coming into my office, walked in and here
01:21 on my desk was this beautiful vase of 25 red roses.
01:26 I just laughed out loud, it was so cool that she had
01:32 done this, I had actually send her, actually 26 because
01:37 I'd add one white flower for unity between us or something.
01:40 Well, when you have good news for something like that
01:46 you have to share with people.
01:48 Kevin: well sure!
01:49 Tom: it was lunch time and I was scheduled to go
01:53 I was looking for some people in the cafeteria so I thought
01:56 I'm going to take my 25 flowers over there.
01:59 So I took this vase of 25 red roses and I walk into
02:03 the cafeteria and I was looking for a group that
02:06 was studying poetry or something and I was going
02:09 to go to their discussion.
02:11 I went walking through the cafeteria and didn't find
02:13 them, they were actually toward the front of the
02:16 cafeteria and I didn't see them.
02:17 I walked through the cafeteria all way through it all
02:21 away back with this vase of red roses and I noticed
02:24 something about a vase of 25 red roses.
02:27 It sure turns heads.
02:30 Kevin: oh absolutely!
02:32 Tom: everybody had to look.
02:34 Kevin: especially when a man is carrying them.
02:35 Tom: a man is carrying them and everybody had to look at this.
02:37 Well today in the gospel of Mark chapter 14 we are going
02:40 to study about somebody that gave a gift that was much
02:44 more expensive, much more than the 25 red roses my
02:48 wife had given me.
02:49 So why don't we read that, it's in Mark 14:1-11.
02:59 I'll read verses 1 and 2 and then I'll also read verses
03:04 10 and 11 because this is another one of those sandwich
03:07 stories, and you are going to read the inner story and
03:11 I'll read the outer okay?
03:12 Mark 14:1-2. "Now the Passover of unleavened bread were
03:16 two days away and the chief priests and the scribes were
03:20 seeking out to seize him by stealth and kill him for
03:23 they were saying not during the festival otherwise there
03:27 might be a riot of the people. "
03:29 Kevin: "and being in Bethany in the house of Simon the
03:33 leper as he sat at meat there came a woman having an
03:36 alabaster box of ointment, and spikenard, very precious.
03:40 And she broke the box and poured it on his head. And
03:43 there were some that had indignation within themselves
03:47 and said why was this waste of ointment made for it
03:50 might have been sold for more than 300 pence and been
03:54 given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
03:57 And Jesus said, let her alone why trouble ye her she
04:01 hath wroth a good work on me. For ye have the poor
04:05 with you always and whensoever you will ye may do them
04:09 good, but me you have not always. She hath done what
04:12 she could. She has come before hand to anoint my body
04:16 to the burying. Verily I say unto you wheresoever this
04:19 gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world,
04:22 this also that she hath done shall be spoken of
04:26 for a memorial of her. "
04:28 Tom: Mark 14:10. "Then Judas Iscariot, one of the 12,
04:31 went off to the chief priests in order to betray him to
04:34 them. They were glad when they heard this and promised
04:38 to give him money and he began seeking out how he could
04:41 betray him at an opportune time. "
04:43 Kevin: why did this woman anoint Jesus?
04:45 Tom: that is an interesting question, the story never
04:48 tells us exactly why she did this. Kevin: right!
04:53 Tom: she comes an anoints his head with this expensive
04:57 perfume, I mean it's worth more than 300 denarii.
05:02 Kevin: what's the equivalent of that?
05:04 Tom: a denarii was a common day wage for a common
05:09 laborer, so it would today well you would just have to
05:13 figure out what it would be today.
05:15 We are talking about hourly wages and everything but
05:19 this would be a day's wage and so 300 denarii would be
05:23 close to a years Kevin: almost a years salary!
05:28 Tom: so it was very, very costly, very expensive
05:33 and she anoints His head with this and then
05:38 everybody starts to talk.
05:39 Now we are not told why exactly she did this, but her
05:44 action could not be hidden just like those 25 roses
05:48 that I carried through the cafeteria couldn't be hidden.
05:53 The perfume was so powerful that it just wafted through
05:57 and filled the room and they all recognize the value of
06:02 the gift, but they were upset that she had spent so much
06:07 on Jesus which, when you think of it, that's sad.
06:12 Kevin: it is very sad!
06:14 Tom: that they would murmur against her and of course
06:16 they try to cover that up with a nice kind of statement.
06:19 You know this could have been given to the poor, we
06:22 could have helped the poor.
06:24 Well how come they didn't help the poor earlier
06:26 and now they are complaining about what she has done
06:31 to give to Jesus.
06:33 So Jesus comes to her defense, I can just imagine this
06:36 woman she comes in there and she anoints Him.
06:41 It seems like she cares about Him.
06:45 She wants to thank Him.
06:46 She's doing something wonderful for Him and then to be
06:52 put down by other people it would be so discouraging.
06:56 It would be so embarrassing that you thought you were
07:00 doing something good, but everybody thought it was bad.
07:04 And so she just tries to quietly escape when Jesus
07:09 interrupts and He says, "why are you troubling her,
07:14 let her alone, she has done a good deed to me. "
07:19 "For you always have the poor with you and whenever you
07:22 wish you can do them good, but you do not always have me. "
07:26 Now what is He talking about?
07:27 What would you say, you do not always have Me,
07:31 what does He mean?
07:32 Kevin: He was only going to be there for a short while.
07:34 Tom: He was only can it be therefore short while because
07:37 this is the passion narrative, He's going to die, in
07:40 fact this is probably less than a week before His death.
07:43 His disciples don't know that, other people don't
07:46 realize that, of coarse the leaders are already plotting
07:49 we know, but others don't seem to be aware of this.
07:53 And He says, "you don't always have me. "
07:56 In fact when we get to chapter 16 and we study the story
07:59 of Jesus' resurrection, they never did have the
08:03 opportunity, listed here in Mark to, anoint Him.
08:07 They came but it was too late, He had already been
08:11 risen from the dead.
08:12 This woman did it before hand, she anointed Him before
08:18 hand and for His burial and that's what He says,
08:22 "she has done what she could, she has anointed my body before
08:25 hand for the burial. Truly I say to you wherever the
08:28 gospel is preached in the whole world what this woman
08:31 has done will also be spoken of in memory of her. "
08:34 Tom: now it's very interesting, if you take the 4
08:38 Gospels, there are actually very few stories that
08:43 appear in all 4 Gospels and this is one of them,
08:47 one of the 4 stories.
08:49 The reason it is because Jesus said they were supposed to
08:53 do it, He said wherever this is told it should be told
08:56 memory of her.
08:57 Now you wonder, what is so special about this event,
09:01 that she gave Him the special gift and that He said, it
09:05 should be told everywhere.
09:06 Obviously the evangelists did that, they told, He said
09:10 tell, they told.
09:11 But they don't always tell exactly why that would be the
09:15 case, why should you tell this?
09:19 Well actually the way Mark tells it may help us a
09:22 little bit, he tells it as a sandwich story.
09:25 We talked about those before so we expect a
09:28 sandwich story to be 2 stories with 1 inserted
09:31 in the middle of the other, splitting the outer
09:34 story in 2, interrupting it.
09:36 We also expect that there is some kind of irony set up
09:41 between these 2 stories.
09:43 The characters in the stories will either be opposite
09:47 characters doing parallel actions or parallel characters
09:52 doing opposite actions.
09:54 Can you figure out who the two characters are that we
09:58 are going to talk about?
09:59 Kevin: I imagine Judas was one of them.
10:01 Tom: Judas is one of them.
10:02 Kevin: and Mary, the woman who anointed Jesus.
10:05 Tom: the woman, now you said Mary.
10:07 How do you know she's Mary?
10:08 Kevin: you kind of assume that.
10:10 Tom: you kind of assume that? Kevin: yeah!
10:12 Well actually we are told in the gospel of John that it
10:15 was Mary, that is her name.
10:17 So the question is, why doesn't Mark tell us her name?
10:20 Doesn't he know?
10:22 Kevin: no he's got a reason he doesn't tell us her name.
10:25 Tom: he has a reason why he doesn't tell us her name.
10:28 It is interesting, sometimes people will, when they
10:31 tell the story, if you asked the question well
10:34 who was the woman?
10:35 Her name was Mary, and which of the gospel
10:38 writers tells us that?
10:39 Kevin: John Tom: John, how much was the perfume worth?
10:44 Kevin: 300 denarii Tom: 300 denarii, which gospel writer
10:49 tells us that?
10:50 Kevin: Mark does!
10:52 Tom: Mark does, how much does Judas betrayed Jesus for?
10:57 Kevin: that's interesting, it's 30 pieces of silver.
11:00 Tom: it's 30 pieces of silver right, which gospel writer
11:04 tells us that?
11:06 Kevin: Hummmm, I'm forgetting.
11:08 Tom: Matthew Kevin: Matthew
11:10 Tom: Mark tells us it was worth 300 denarii, but doesn't
11:15 tell us how much Judas received.
11:17 Mark tells us Judas's name, emphasizes it!
11:22 one of the twelve, Judas Iscariot, but doesn't tell
11:27 us the woman's name.
11:28 Do you remember when we studied the story of Jairus and
11:31 the woman with the hemorrhage? Kevin: right!
11:33 We had the little chart that showed the comparison
11:35 between them, how they were so opposite to one another.
11:38 Now we have a little chart here that shows us about
11:42 Judas in comparison with this woman in a sandwich story.
12:37 So there is very opposite actions taking place
12:40 between Judas in the woman and yet Judas is one of the
12:44 twelve, he's one of the disciples.
12:46 This woman is acting like a disciple, is Judas acting
12:51 like disciple should?
12:52 No of course not.
12:54 Kevin: he's saying things like disciple should say,
12:58 on the outside it appears like he's got the best
13:01 interest in mind.
13:02 Tom: but he's doing the opposite so there are a number
13:06 of lessons, very practical lessons that we can learn
13:09 from this story.
13:10 One is are you listening to the Spirit's voice?
13:14 The Holy Spirit seemed to have impressed this woman
13:18 to do this, she didn't know why she just goes and
13:22 does it and Jesus commends her for it.
13:25 Or are you like Judas, focused on something else,
13:27 maybe on money, maybe own position instead of
13:30 service to Jesus you see.
13:32 Take time to listen to the Spirit's voice speaking to
13:38 our hearts, touching us and guiding us.
13:40 Take time to anoint the head of somebody around you,
13:43 maybe there is somebody that you have contact with
13:46 that needs to be lifted up.
13:48 That needs to be cheered, helped, and encouraged.
13:52 You should go out of your way to do this just
13:56 like this woman did.
13:58 Kevin: I like that, you know I think that's a good
14:00 time to break because while we take a break maybe our
14:02 audience can savor that thought.
14:03 So stay with us will be right back with Books of the
14:06 Book and think about that, let the Spirit lead you.
14:09 Don't plan everything and don't be critical.


Revised 2014-12-17