Chapter 39



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(Mat 26:6-13)  Now when Jesus was in Bethany [Aramaic: date-house] [a fruitful place], in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster [white stone] box [which may be associated with a white sepulcher, or tomb, grave, burial place] of [containing] very precious ointment [Gk: myrrh, perfumed oil], and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat [dinner]. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation [self-righteous anger, because while seeing with their natural eyes only, they did not understand the symbolism of this anointing of highest honor], saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor [1]. When Jesus understood it [that His disciples did not understand], he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me [she understood that Jesus was about to become the sacrificial Lamb of God for all the universe]. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial [that the ugly smell of death may be symbolically covered by the beautiful aroma of eternal life. Praise God. Thank you Lord]. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her [2,3,4,5].

1.       Commentary: “and given to the poor” = Very true, except in this case this anointing symbolized the ultimate sacrifice for the restoration to grace of the entire universe. This anointing is the commemoration of the sacrifice of the only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, in ascension rising to His Father, God the Creator, upon the completion of His good works. (Acts 1:9)

2.       Commentary: Let us first focus our attention on the phrase “in the house of Simon the leper.” Now this is indeed a strange statement for if Simon were truly a leper, he would have been ostracized from society, leprosy (the rotting away and corruption of flesh) being contagious, and no one would have come near to him, much less dine with him; but here we have Jesus and His disciples and the woman and certainly Simon and the servants of Simon all in the house of Simon preparing and sharing a fellowship meal. So then we may better conclude that Simon was once a leper, had been healed by Jesus at some unspecified time in the past, and was now still called “Simon the leper” by the people as a living memorial of that wonderful miracle.

3.       Commentary: Now let us note in the phrase “the house of Simon” wherein “house” acts as a dual representation, not only of all that is Simon’s and pertains to him (e.g., the house of Lionel), but also of Simon’s body, and that leprosy in the Bible is a type and shadow of “sin.” That being the case, the symbolism of Simon’s present cleansed circumstance relates to we who are “born-again” insofar as we too were once diseased unto death with sin, and have been healed and forgiven of our sins and covered by the blood, and still walking around just as was Simon. In essence, we have been resurrected from the dead, now positionally but very soon experientially as well. Thank you Lord.

4.       Commentary: All the thematic elements of death, burial, and resurrection are carried throughout this narrative. Even the seemingly innocuous background setting of the town of Bethany pertains to this theme. Bethany means “date-house” in the original Aramaic language, which is certainly a very fruitful place. But what fruit is being symbolized? The fruit of resurrection. Being born-again is a type and shadow of resurrection. Simon the leper’s presence fairly shouts of being born-again; he is a walking-talking advertisement of healing and forgiveness of sins to all the people. Immediately thereafter, we see the alabaster (white = “the righteousness of the saints” Rev 19:8) box (sepulcher or tomb) symbolizing death, and the gracious anointing lovingly gently ministered by the understanding woman using the “very precious ointment” of myrrh, symbolizing the covering of burial. Myrrh was an expensive perfume oil that exuded a strong sweet odor. When affordable, it was used to anoint dead bodies. And, not coincidentally, myrrh was the principal ingredient of the “holy anointing oil” (Ex 30:25) used to anoint the tabernacle of the congregation which is a type and shadow of the body of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. As they anointed Him in the Old Testament, so did they anoint Him in the New.

5.       Commentary: Through this narrative, three related living tombstones or memorializations are forever commemorated in our mind: 1. Simon the leper, 2. Christ Jesus, 3. the understanding woman.


Lionel the leper

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