What does Mark 14:8 mean?
ESV: She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.
NIV: She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.
NASB: She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial.
CSB: She has done what she could; she has anointed my body in advance for burial.
NLT: She has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time.
KJV: She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
NKJV: She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.
Verse Commentary:
Although Jesus often wanted His identity as Messiah to be kept quiet (Mark 8:27–30), He never kept secret that the Jewish leadership would kill Him and He would rise again (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:32–34; Matthew 26:2). The disciples understand on some level (John 11:16) but not completely (Mark 9:32). This shortcoming is partly because it isn't time (Luke 18:34). Had they truly understood, they may have tried to prevent it (Mark 8:32–33).

Jesus often warns His followers to count the cost of following Him (Matthew 8:18–22; Mark 8:34–38; Luke 14:25–33). The Twelve are more interested in what they can gain (Mark 9:33–38; 10:35–41). Mary of Bethany considers worldly losses or gains nonsense compared to the spiritual treasure of having Jesus (Philippians 3:8). Some time before, she ignored the honor and obligation for hospitality to merely sit at Jesus' feet and listen to Him (Luke 10:38–42). Four days ago, she, too, dedicated a valuable flask of ointment and anointed Jesus' feet, just as Jews across the country were anointing the feet of the lambs they'd chosen to sacrifice at Passover (John 12:1–8).

Now, either Mary again, or another woman, has anointed Jesus' head, on the same night Jewish families are anointing the heads of their Passover lambs. It's entirely possible that the Holy Spirit is prompting Mary and this woman to honor and worship Jesus in this way without their full understanding. But it's also possible they do so intentionally because they understand Jesus is about to die.
Verse Context:
Mark 14:3–9 creates another narrative ''sandwich'' in this Gospel. Between the Sanhedrin's machinations to kill Him and Judas' offer to betray Him, a woman honors Jesus. The Passover lamb was chosen six days before the sacrifice. On the first day, its feet and ankles were anointed with oil, as Jesus' were in John 12:1–8. For five days, it would be inspected for flaws, as Jesus was when He taught and debated in the temple (Mark 11:15–12:40). Two days before the Passover, the lamb's head would be anointed, as Jesus' head is, here. This account is also recorded in Matthew 26:6–13.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus is anointed in a symbolic anticipation of His death. Judas decides to secretly cooperate with local religious leaders to arrest Jesus in secret. During the Passover meal, Jesus predicts His betrayal by Judas, and Peter's denial. He also institutes the Lord's Supper, also known as communion. After praying on the Mount of Olives, Jesus is captured when Judas identifies Him to a hostile mob sent by Jewish authorities. He endures a corrupt, prejudiced trial, ending in a conviction for blasphemy. Peter, fearing for his life, lies about knowing Jesus, before remembering Jesus' prediction and breaking down in sobs.
Chapter Context:
Jesus has finished His public teaching ministry and now prepares for the crucifixion. His sacrificial loyalty will provide the means by which the disciples' abandonment will be forgiven. Next, the Romans, as representatives of Gentiles throughout history, will join the Jews and kill Jesus. Jesus will be buried, but He will rise again with the promise that His sacrifice will redeem the world. Matthew 26 and Luke 22 follow Mark 14 more closely while John 13:1—18:27 records more of Jesus' teaching in the upper room.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/25/2024 12:24:24 AM
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