Mark’s account of Wednesday during the first Holy Week is just 9 verses – 1 verse longer than his account of Monday. This still tops Luke, who writes just 6 verses about Wednesday, and John, who gives no information about the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday of the first Holy Week.
“Jesus was eating in Bethany at the home of Simon, who once had leprosy, when a woman came in with a very expensive bottle of sweet-smelling perfume. After breaking it open, she poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. This made some the guests angry, and they complained, ‘Why such a waste? We could have sold this perfume for more than three hundred silver coins and given the money to the poor!’ So they started saying cruel things to the woman.
“But Jesus said: Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing for me. You will always have the poor with you. And whenever you want to, you can give to them. But you won’t always have me here with you. She has done all she could by pouring perfume on my body to prepare it for burial. You may be sure that wherever the good news is told all over the world, people will remember what she has done. And they will tell others.
“Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests and offered to help them arrest Jesus. They were glad to hear this, and they promised to pay him. So Judas started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus.”
Jesus’ disciples and closest friends still don’t understand that he is about to die for them. But this woman does. Somehow she knows and she wants to express her love and gratitude for Jesus. She gives what she has to Jesus, including loving hands and total devotion. And she is ridiculed for the giving. She is criticized for her generosity, which is characterized as wasteful and selfish.
But Jesus defends her. “You could have found a poor person to take your place at this meal if you had wanted to help the poor. There will always be plenty of people who need help. But she wanted to help me.” Jesus tells us that she will always be remembered – but we don’t even know her name.
Wednesday ends with Judas offering to betray Jesus to the chief priests.