“And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. … She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.” Mark 14:5b-6, 8 (ESV)
Context is important. Jesus near the end of his ministry on earth. He knows the ultimate purpose of His coming to earth as a human being is to be a sacrifice. He will be betrayed by his own, turned over to be executed by Roman crucifixion. He visits friends in Bethany. Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus. Martha is being the perfect host. Mary overcome with sadness and by her love for Jesus. Perhaps she understands better than others what Jesus is facing. Mary takes very expensive perfumed ointment and anoints Jesus by pouring it on His head. Some, led by Judas were indignant, put-out by Mary’s action. They thought it was wasteful of Mary to do this. “They scolded her.” But Jesus, knowing why she was doing this defended her actions. He saw it as an expression of love and devotion to Him in light of His approaching death as well as a messianic acclamation. Showing comfort or aid to some out of love for our Lord Jesus brings Him honor and glory. We can trust that God knows our motivations⸺selfish and unselfish⸺He is pleased with our loving sacrifices when they are for His name’s sake.