Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,…
Indeed in many of the sweetest, and purest relationships of life, the half of those deeds of kindness and interest which are wrought, and often wrought at much cost and with labour, are of this sort. They are not absolutely necessary to the wellbeing or existence of those in whose behalf they are done. Probably life could be spent happily enough without the gifts which such deeds bring. But life is not mere subsistence; life is made up of a thousand little slender veins and channels through which affection flows noiselessly and unseen. Life and the inner power of life are made up of infinite little gleams of sympathy, and are not to be measured and weighed like beams of timber by their size. Life is a great and living tree, with countless twigs and foliage which render it fair and attractive. And in all the relationships of life, day by day all persons are conscious that a large portion of their thoughts and time and care is bestowed on what serves no other purpose than merely to express what is within the heart, and seeks for utterance. "To what purpose this waste?" one might say when one sees how much is thus given and done — not because it is essential to maintain life, but because it is simply the outcome of friendly interest and affection, and because to stifle it would be to prevent the free breathing of a pure and warm heart.
(A. Watson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,