Matthew 26:6
While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper,
The Defence of Uncalculating LoveAlexander MaclarenMatthew 26:6
A Woman's MemorialC. H. Spurgeon.Matthew 26:6-13
Christ Anointed for His BurialR. Woodford, M. A.Matthew 26:6-13
Immortality of Good DeedsC. Dickens.Matthew 26:6-13
Jesus Christ Deserves to be Served After an Extraordinary MannerC. H. Spurgeon.Matthew 26:6-13
Love the Great Energy in ReligionA. G. Brown.Matthew 26:6-13
Mary Anointing ChristC. Molyneux, B. A.Matthew 26:6-13
Mediocrity in Religion Best Liked by the WorldA. G. Brown.Matthew 26:6-13
Ointment Poured ForthW.F. Adeney Matthew 26:6-13
Originality in ReligionA. G. Brown.Matthew 26:6-13
Profitable WasteAnon.Matthew 26:6-13
Spiritual Emotion not to be SuppressedA. Watson, D. D.Matthew 26:6-13
Superiority of Christian to Humanitarian VirtuesR. B. Fairbairn, D. D.Matthew 26:6-13
The Anointing At BethanyC. W. Baird.Matthew 26:6-13
The Anointing of the Feet of JesusH. M. Jackson.Matthew 26:6-13
The Originality of ServiceC. H. Spurgeon.Matthew 26:6-13
The Problem of Poverty, and How to Deal with ItAmerican Homiletic ReviewMatthew 26:6-13
The Saviour's Defence of Sublime DevotionA. G. Brown.Matthew 26:6-13
The Universal MemorialJ. Alexander.Matthew 26:6-13
The Woman that Anointed JesusN. Lardner.Matthew 26:6-13
The Worth of Life Enhanced by Kinder ActsA. Watson, D. D.Matthew 26:6-13
Things of Highest Value have not a Marked PriceJ. R. S. Harington.Matthew 26:6-13
True FameW. M. Taylor D. D.Matthew 26:6-13
True Principles of Christian EconomyJ. R. McGavin, D. D.Matthew 26:6-13
Troublers of the GoodJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 26:6-16

This incident has a unique honour set upon it by our Lord, who promises it worldwide and lasting fame. Thus accentuated, it claims our closest attention. Why does Christ desire honour to be given to the memory of so simple a deed as is here recorded?

I. ONE WHO TRULY LOVES CHRIST WILL RECKON NO GIFT TOO COSTLY TO BE OFFERED TO HIM. Mary's adoration was prompted by adequate motives. She had often sat at the feet of Jesus, and she had learned to appreciate his goodness as far as any human being could do so. Her brother had just been restored to her from the grave by this wonderful Friend. Jesus had dropped dark hints of his approaching departure. Then all her love and adoration were gathered up in an enthusiasm of devotion for this last typical act. The reason why the incident is so exceptional is that the Marys of Bethany are rare. The real wonder is that the Church of Christ should be so slow to pour out her treasures at his feet, that calculating economy and grudging meanness should cripple the efforts of any Christian people in sacrificing themselves and giving their offerings for the glory of their Lord.

II. JESUS CHRIST ACCEPTS COSTLY OFFERINGS GIVES TO HIMSELF. The hypocritical objection of Judas was cleverly invented. The traitor knew the simplicity and unselfishness of his Master, and he knew that the heart of Jesus was always with the needy. Why, then, did not our Lord take the same view of his enthusiastic disciple's action? Because he would not hurt the feelings of Mary, would not grieve her love. Still, even that painful course must have been taken if her conduct had been unacceptable to Christ on account of any blameworthy extravagance. It is plain that he did accept adoration. This was seen on Palm Sunday, when he received the "Hosannas!" of the multitude, and defended the children from the rebukes of the interfering Jews. It is right to give honour to Christ, for he is good and great; but above his human excellence his Divine glory makes this homage supremely fitting.

III. WE SHALL BEST SERVE OUR FELLOW MEN WHEN WE ARE MOST DEVOTED TO CHRIST. He was not robbing the poor in order to accept a luxury for himself, as Judas rudely insinuated. We must set this incident over against our Lord's recently spoken words about the kindness shown to others being really given to himself (Matthew 25:40). There is no rivalry between the two kinds of gifts. Mary would not be the less charitable to her neighbours because of her expenditure on her Master. It is more likely that her heart would flow out in richer kindness towards them. Devotion to Christ is the greatest inspiration for sympathy with suffering fellow men. What is spent on the cause of religion does not detract from the help of the poor. The reason is that the fund of possible generosity is never exhausted. We have not such a limited amount to give away. Few contribute a tithe of what they ought to give. But when the heart is moved to offer directly to Christ, its new warmth of love will prompt it to be more liberal in giving to all other good objects. It is not a fact that, for the most part, those people who refuse to help religious objects are the most generous in charity to their neighbours. The poor would not be grateful to be handed over to the tender mercies of the Judases. On the other hand, we find that those men who are foremost in supporting the cause of Christ are most earnest in human charity. The very people who maintain foreign missions do most for the suffering poor at home. - W.F.A.

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper.
Let us endeavour to find out what was the latent virtue in the apparently simple act which won so noble a reward.

I. There can be no doubt that the majority of Christians would express SURPRISE AT THE HIGH HONOUR PROMISED TO MARY FOR SO SLIGHT A SERVICE, She did not resign wealth. What she did was of no utility. In these days and in this land we have a narrow and prejudiced way of judging of the character and actions of men. There is a national character, our likes and dislikes; we are disposed to try everything by this standard. Our national qualities are industry, prudence, regularity. There is another class of national qualities also — warm affections, enthusiasm, high unearthly devotion — these are contrary to our mental constitution. You find them in excess in warmer climates. Both of these characteristics have their faults and excellences. What is our ideal of a religious character? That a man should be upright, sober; hence our religious temper is not enthusiastic, The conduct of the woman was the result of overpowering love. May not this narrative teach us that God above all things values love to Himself, that one outgoing of the soul to Himself is worth hundreds of acts of duty apathetically rendered.

II. So also did she offer as ILLUSTRIOUS EXAMPLE OF IMPLICIT FAITH. She had in view His burial, and did it to that end. A marvellous effort of faith. The apostles were not equal to it, though Christ had told them of His death and resurrection.

(R. Woodford, M. A.)

I. Let us seek to, challenge and CORRECT THE WORLD'S CHARGE OF WASTE brought against this and all similar acts of homage to Christ. Waste is useless and prodigal expenditure. Sin is the parent of extravagance. There are notions in the world on the subject of giving to God which we can correct: —

1. Let us mark, in opposition to selfish policy, that as hoarding is not always saving, so neither is expenditure always waste. So the Divine method. The sunshine streams clown from heaven with no stint, yet without waste; because all this vast outcome of goodness returns in richest blessing to its Parent Benefactor. The same principle of generous expenditure forms the life and success of commerce. A man of sordid habits toils with old worn-out machinery, because he dreads expense of repairs, only to find that his inferior goods have fallen out of demand. Again, does the selfish man congratulate himself, when he has refused some urgent opportunity of doing good, that, whatever conscience or the world may say of him, he has at least saved his money? He is mistaken. There is no safe keeping of that which vexes and displeases God. But there is another fallacy of the ungenerous and selfish, suggested by the text, viz., that everything is wasted that is given to Christ. Finally, it is the fallacy of the selfish that, while they will not make sacrifices for Christ, they think they have a right to prevent others; but this will not exempt us from doing our own duty.

II. What the world calls waste, as done to Christ and His cause, the Saviour Himself commends as duty, which secures our truest interest and honour.

(J. R. McGavin, D. D.)

American Homiletic Review.
What are the cardinal principles of the problem?

1. The essential claim which this class of mankind has upon the common brotherhood is not one of charity, but is founded in religion. It is not a humane sentiment to be gratified, but a law of Christianity to be obeyed.

2. The poor may be considered in the light of Christ's legacy to His Church in all ages. Had there been no poor claiming our sympathy and kindly ministry, what a lack there had been in the training of the Christian graces.

3. We are to perform this high and sacred duty in testimony of our love to Christ, and in gratitude for His love and services in our behalf.

(American Homiletic Review.)

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.)

Is there no religion except what is called the practical? and must everything you say and do and give have a direct religious purpose? May that not be true in the sacred region of religious life, which I have already indicated as true in the daily home-life? May there not be great religious emotions and desires which seek for utterance, and nothing more? May there not be a deep gratitude for spiritual blessings which longs to show itself, and which only wants to express its force towards Him from whom the blessings have come? I am not encouraging a mere sentimental religion, or a religion which has nothing but emotion in it; but I desire to destroy nothing which God has formed, and to suppress no genuine spiritual aspiration. And I wish that all should feel how natural it is, and how true to the religious instincts, that there should be times and seasons when the devout soul finds pleasure and satisfaction in what seems to effect no direct purpose. There are occasions when the very essence of religion consists in words and works of worship and praise. To what purpose this waste of time, or thought, or language? some may ask. And the answer is, that goodness in religion is often what goodness is in the home-life of men; it is goodness, not for what it accomplishes, but for what it expresses of the state of the heart.

(A. Watson, D. D.)

1. This memorial affords an instance of the Saviour's foreknowledge, and of His fidelity and power in the accomplishment of His predictions.

2. It reminds us that as we possess this gospel ourselves it is our duty to impart the knowledge of it to others. The text implies that the gospel is for the world.

3. It sanctions and encourages the efforts of Christian females, as well as of others, to serve the cause of Jesus Christ.

4. It teaches us that a desire to supply the temporal necessities of the poor is not to supersede a devout regard to the claims of Christ, and to the welfare of souls.

5. It directs us to serve Christ according to our ability, and intimates that no sacrifices are too costly to be made for Him.

6. It reminds us that Jesus Christ sometimes bestows upon us such peculiar mercies, as demand peculiar and extraordinary expressions of gratitude.

7. It shows that those things are the most agreeable to Christ which are done with a devout regard to His death.

8. It admonishes us that such opportunities as are peculiarly favourable for testifying our regard for Christ, and to the salvation of our souls, if they are neglected never may return.

(J. Alexander.)

I. WHO WAS THIS WOMAN? She was a blessed woman, had the favour of Christ in no ordinary way. Blessed in her deed and in the approbation of it. She was Mary of Bethany.

II. THE ESTIMATE WHICH CHRIST FORMED OF THIS WOMAN'S ACT. It was not elicited by the act itself immediately, but by the estimate formed by others. What determines the moral character of a work? Not the work itself, its amount, but the motive. Love was her motive. The act itself was selfdenying. It was an act of clear preference. There were other objects on which she might have bestowed the ointment. It was a striking act of faith. She did it for His burial. Our Lord marked the deed of the woman not only in the credit He gave her, but in the comfort he imparted. She only wanted His approval. The honour He gave — "Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached," etc. Why should not we love Jesus as did this woman? Mary anointed to His burial. To what shall we anoint Him? Let us employ our talents for Him and suffering humanity.

(C. Molyneux, B. A.)


1. This act was the impulse of a loving heart.

2. What this woman did was done purely to Christ and for Christ.

3. She did an extraordinary, thing for Christ.

4. Her act was beautifully expressive of her broken heart.



(C. H. Spurgeon.)

You and I generally look to see whether the thing our new heart tells us to do has ever been done before; and then, if, like Martha, we love Christ, we still think it will be the proper mode of showing our love to prepare Him a supper, and go and stand and wait at the table. We look for a precedent. We recollect that the Pharisee gave Christ a supper; we remember how many others of the disciples have given Him a dinner; and then we think that is the proper orthodox way, and we will go and do the same. "Mr. So-and-so gives ten guineas; I shall give ten guineas. Mrs. So-and-so teaches in the Sunday-school; I shall teach in the Sunday-school. Mr. This or That is in the habit of having prayer with his servants; I shall do likewise." You see, we look to find out whether anybody else has set us an example, and then we get into the habit of doing all these things as a matter of form. But Mary never thought of that; she never asked whether there was anybody else that had ever broken an alabaster box of ointment on that sacred head. No, she goes her way; her heart says, "Do it," and she does it.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Was there ever a people that had such a leader or such a lover as we have in the person of Christ? And yet, my dear friends, there have been many impostors in the world, who have had disciples more ardently attached to them than some of you are to Christ Jesus. When I read the life of Mohamed, I see men who loved him so, that they would expose their persons to death at any moment for the false prophet, dash into battle almost naked, cut their way through hosts of enemies, and do exploits out of a passionate zeal for him whom they verily believed to be sent of God. And even that modern delusion of Joe Smith lacks not its martyrs. When I read the history of the Mormonite emigrants, and of all the miseries they endured when driven out of the city of Nauvoo; how they had to pass over trackless snows and pathless mountains, and were ready to die under the guns of the United States marauders, and how they suffered for that false prophet, I do stand ashamed of the followers of Christ, that they should permit the followers of an impostor to suffer hardships, and loss of limb and life, and everything else that men count dear, for an impostor, while they themselves show that they do not love their Master, their true and loving Lord half so well, else would they serve Him in an extraordinary manner, as He deserves. When the soldiers of Napoleon performed such unexampled deeds of daring in his day, people ceased to wonder. They said, "No wonder that they do that; see what their leader does." When Napoleon, sword in hand, crossed over the bridge of Lodi, and bid them follow, no one wondered that every common soldier was a hero. But it is wonderful, when we consider what the Captain of our salvation hath done for us, that we are content to be such everyday nothings as the most of us are. Ah! if we did but think of His glory, and of what He deserves — if we did but think of His sufferings, and of what He merits at our hands, surely we should do something out of the common; we should break our alabaster box, and pour the pound of ointment on His head again.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

To value only what can be "sold" is to appreciate least what in nature and man is most glorious, and most capable of affording exquisite and perfect satisfaction. The gold and purple of the sunset, the flushing tenderness of the dawn, the rippling songs of birds, the full-voiced chorus of breaking billows, the pure air fresh with the fragrant breath of wild flowers, the rain pouring its living draught into every arid blade and leaf, are God's free gifts to men. The innocent joy of childhood, the generous enthusiasm of youth, the strength of wisdom, the serenity of a holy trust in God — in what earthly market can these blessed things of the Spirit be bought or sold? With what coin minted by man can you purchase the tenderness of sympathy, the con. fidence of friendship, the devotion of love? Only to be won are they by the unselfish blending of your own lives with the lives of others. The things that cannot be bartered, the price of which no merchant quotes, the value of which no figures can express, which no thief can steal, and no moth or rust corrupt, alone term the wealth of the soul.

(J. R. S. Harington.)

The action of Mary was deeply symbolical. There may often be more in our actions than we imagine. It may be by loving instinct she almost antedated the death of our Lord. It was the gospel in figure; in Mary's offering He saw symbolized the greater offering He was about to make, prompted by a deeper love than hers.


1. She was completely under the sway of devoted love to Christ's person — "Unto Me." The prominent feature of Mary's character was her power of loving. This caught the eye of Christ, and gained His admiration. Here is an ideal of what a follower of Mine should be. Devotion to the Lora's person is the chiefest of Christian virtues. Now in making love the test of excellence Christ differs from all the rest of the world.

2. Her devotion was original and fearless. It was her own way of manifesting her love. It shocked the twelve. Let a person only love and he becomes a genius in manifesting it. Mary was unmindful of criticism.

3. Her devotion was magnificent. She did not think how little she could give.

II. CHRIST'S CHIVALROUS CHAMPIONSHIP OF THIS WOMAN Note the resemblances that exist between the action of the woman and our Lord's action in a few hours afterwards.

1. There is a resemblance in motive. Love led to both offerings. He died because He loved. He intercedes because He loves. There is a sweet savour in love. In His body there is an alabaster box that contains the ointment, a salve for every wound.

2. There is a resemblance of self-devotion. She could not have given more. Christ gave all that He could. He emptied Himself.

3. In the broken box Christ saw His end. That was the gospel.

4. The magnificence of Christ's work. It is "plenteous redemption."

(A. G. Brown.)

The general verdict will be, "It is very romantic — very sentimental, and quite unnecessary." The world likes a dead level of mediocrity in the things of God. Its perpetual cry is, "Now, do be moderate!" There are not a few who would like the religious experience of the Church to be something like Norfolk scenery. When I was preaching there some time back a farmer went out with me for a walk, and just as I was inwardly thinking that it was about the most deplorable bit of country I had ever seen — as fiat as a billiard table with here and. there a ditch, he suddenly stopped, and said, "Now, sir, this is what I call a really fine view." I looked at him with astonishment; but with all simplicity he said, "I call this really a fine view; for whichever way you look there is nothing to break it. Now in Kent and many other counties wherever you look there is some big hill or tree that stops the view, but here there is nothing." This is the idea of Christian beauty which many entertain. Its charm lies in there being nothing to attract attention. In fact it has become quite a compliment now to say, "Oh, so-and-so is a fine man. He never forgets himself." The man who never forgets himself is not worthy of the name of man. A man who never forgets himself is, to say the least, a miserably selfish mortal. What Christ asks at your hands and. mine is — not a love which only sometimes makes me forget myself, but a love which will put self out of court entirely — a love which will raise me out of myself — a love which, in other words, will be superior to all calculation as to consequences. It was so with Mary. She had spent all her little earnings upon her gift.

(A. G. Brown.)

Although this spirit of boundless consecration may often make mistakes, and it does — though it may often run into some strange extravagances, and it does — yet, at the same time, in the end it accomplishes far more than the very wise but very cold spirit. The author to whom I have previously referred makes this remark on the point, and it is very true — "One rash but heroic Luther is worth a thousand men of the Erasmus type, unspeakably wise, but passionless and time-serving." The men who leave their mark on the world, and the men who really extend the empire of Christ's kingdom, are not generally the men who are very calculating and very professional, but men who, whatever else they may lack, have their hearts surcharged with love. Oh would ye be a real power? Ye must have a love that scorns all meanness. How different does Mary appear from the disciples? She does a noble deed: they criticize it. It does not require love to criticize. Indeed, love will not criticize. Love is too noble a thing to condescend to it, specially when criticism means perpetual fault-finding. If there be good, love delights to take down her harp and praise it to her utmost, but if there is nothing to praise, love prefers to be silent rather than cavil. Only mean spirits find pleasure in finding fault.

(A. G. Brown.)

The Church wants a number of original workers — those who will not merely run in the rut that is already made in the road, but strike out for themselves some new ways of honouring Christ. It has been well remarked that when the stream is low it runs along the channel that is already made; but let there be a downfall of rain, let the river only rise, and it fills up all the channels, and then the banks, not able to restrain the stream, will overflow and run far and wide. The new wine of a passionate love to Christ can never be contained in old bottles.

(A. G. Brown.)

There is nothing, no, nothing, innocent or good, that dies and is forgotten: let us hold that faith, or none. An infant, a prattling child, lying in its cradle, will live again in the better thoughts of those who loved it; and plays its part, through them, in the redeeming actions of the world, though its. body be burned to ashes, or drowned in the deepest sea. There is not an angel added to the host of heaven but does its blessed work on earth in those that loved it here. Forgotten! — oh I if the good deeds of human creatures could be traced to their source, how beautiful would even death appear! for how much charity, mercy, and purified affection would be seen to have growth in dusty graves!

(C. Dickens.)

The doing good may be a mere humanitarian virtue. It may be the cultivation of a virtue which is to help our kind. It may arise from the feeling of kindred, from sympathy, from compassion. When it has only this origin, it is a virtue worthy of all honour. It tends to make us think better of our race. It shows the nobleness which by nature is implanted in the human heart. It exhibits and testifies to the godlike qualities of the being who was made in the image of his Maker. The world is full of such acts. The book of "Golden Deeds" in which Charlotte Yonge has embalmed the memory of many an act of humanity, of patience, of self endurance, of bravery, tends to make us think better of humanity, helps to kindle the affections, and inspires us with emulation of imitating those deeds. But the act of Mary has another significancy. There is a quality in it which we put into our acts of mercy, self-sacrifice, and bravery. There is a quality in it which may be the very mark which is to distinguish our act as it distinguished hers; and that quality was the faith and love which were directed to the Saviour of the world. Without it the act was nothing. Without this quality we could not understand the commendation of the Saviour, and why it should be a memorial to all generations. It was the affections going forth to the Saviour; it was the homage which was paid Him as the Redeemer; it was the clinging to Him as the altogether lovely. A distinct act of faith to-day is a witness to the world in favour of Christian redemption. It was the great truth which was then dawning upon the world, that there was a Saviour, the Son of God, who had come to save man. Wherever this gospel was to be preached, wherever it was to be proclaimed that there are good tidings, wherever it was to be made known that there is mercy and life for man, there was this significant act of this woman to be told, because she saw this truth, because she thus proclaimed herself a believer in Him, a disciple of Him. She paid homage to Him in this character and office.

(R. B. Fairbairn, D. D.)

Great love can impose great obligations.


II. THE SIGNIFICANCE of the deed. One only of those present at this transaction was competent fully to declare its import.

1. It was a useful work. Such is the first inscription. The word translated good means, primarily — fair, goodly, beautiful, as to external form and appearance. This it was, but the language implies more. It was moral excellence that distinguished the miracles and teachings of the Saviour, and the quality pertaining to them He ascribes to this humble performance. More precisely, however, the epithet refers to the effect and influence of the work possessing this quality. This is the ordinary sense of the word, where it is used to characterize the practice of piety among the followers of Christ.

2. It was a great work. "She hath done what she could." The deed was co-extensive with her ability. To the eye that looked only upon the outward appearance, it seemed an act which nothing but its wasteful extravagance raised above insignificance. To the eye that searcheth hearts, it was grand, august, important. The value of a deed wrought upon Christ, or for the sake of Christ, though relative to us, is absolute to Him. If it he our best, though it were another's least, it is great and precious when its perfume ascends to heaven.

3. It was an act of faith in a crucified Saviour.

III. The COMMEMORATION of the deed. For the most delicate service that mortal rendered Him on earth, our gracious Redeemer provides the most delicate reward. Upon the immediate disciples of our Lord the accomplishment of this declaration first devolved.

1. How exceedingly precious to Christ is the love of His people!

2. How precious to Christ is the memory of His people!

3. How great the jealousy of Christ for the good fame of His people!

4. How generously Christ estimates the offerings and services of His people! Mary was not so lavish of her ointment as Jesus of His praise. Be very sure that whatever others may do, He will put the best construction upon a work of faith and love wrought for His sake.

5. Learn how Christ would have us cherish the memory of His people. Records of good men's lives are among the meads which God hath most emphatically approved and blessed for the sanctification of believers.

(C. W. Baird.)

I. From the words of this text we evidently perceive that our Lord distinctly foresaw the great progress which the gospel would soon make in the world.

II. From the text we learn that reputation for good works is desirable and valuable.

III. Also we learn that some seasons and circumstances may justify uncommon expense.

IV. What this woman now did in anointing the body of Jesus was very commendable.

V. With all His great and transcendent wisdom, Jesus did not disdain what we call the weaker sex; but allowed them to be capable of true and distinguished worth and excellence.

VI. The text gives no encouragement to those honours approaching to idolatry or altogether idolatrous, which some have since given to departed saints, both men and women.

VII. We have, in this history, an instance of the favour of our Lord for virtue.

VIII. This text teaches us to think and judge for ourselves, and to act according to the light of our own judgment and understanding, after having taken due care to be well informed, without paying too great deference to the favourable or the unfavourable sentences of others.

(N. Lardner.)

No one likes to be forgotten. Our Lord was not induced to pronounce this eulogy —

1. By Mary's social position.

2. By the intrinsic value of that which was presented to Him.

3. By the opinion of those who were present with Him at the time.

4. The great thing, the one thing to which Jesus looked, was the motive from which the action was performed. What a sublime prophecy that eulogium is!

(W. M. Taylor D. D.)


1. Man's gifts to God are consecrated by love.

2. Profusion is not necessarily waste.

3. Amid the conflicting duties of life the immediate is best. "She hath done what she could" — not all that she could, but that which her hand found presently to do.

4. Our Lord not only accepts and commends the act and gift, but recompenses them in a royal manner.

(H. M. Jackson.)

That is profitable waste which —

I. Makes solid, although often unseen, preparation for the future.

II. Sacrifices worldly advantages at the call of God and duty.

III. Spends labour, and parts with possessions, in exchange for spiritual attainment.

IV. Surrenders life for a blessed immortality.


Caiaphas, Jesus, Judas, Peter, Simon, Zabdi, Zebedee
Bethany, Galilee, Gethsemane, Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Nazareth
Bethany, Home, Leper, Leper's, Simon
1. Jesus foretells his own death.
3. The rulers conspire against him.
6. The woman anoints his feet.
14. Judas bargains to betray him.
17. Jesus eats the Passover;
26. institutes his holy supper;
30. foretells the desertion of his disciples, and Peter's denial;
36. prays in the garden;
47. and being betrayed by a kiss,
57. is carried to Caiaphas,
69. and denied by Peter.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 26:6-7

     4438   eating
     5699   guests
     8262   generosity, human
     8447   hospitality, examples
     8497   witnessing, approaches

Matthew 26:6-9

     5856   extravagance
     8765   grudge

Matthew 26:6-12

     7304   anointing

Matthew 26:6-13

     5745   women
     5979   waste
     8356   unselfishness

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Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

January 3. "Watch and Pray" (Matt. xxvi. 41).
"Watch and pray" (Matt. xxvi. 41). We need to watch for prayers as well as for the answers to our prayers. It needs as much wisdom to pray rightly as it does faith to receive the answers to our prayers. We met a friend the other day, who had been in years of darkness because God had failed to answer certain prayers, and the result had been a state bordering on infidelity. A very few moments were sufficient to convince this friend that these prayers had been entirely unauthorized, and that God had
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

'Until that Day'
'I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.'--MATT. xxvi. 29. This remarkable saying of our Lord's is recorded in all of the accounts of the institution of the Lord's Supper. The thought embodied in it ought to be present in the minds of all who partake of that rite. It converts what is primarily a memorial into a prophecy. It bids us hope as well as, and because we, remember. The light behind us is cast forward on to
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Last Pleading of Love
'And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come?'--MATT. xxvi. 50. We are accustomed to think of the betrayer of our Lord as a kind of monster, whose crime is so mysterious in its atrocity as to put him beyond the pale of human sympathy. The awful picture which the great Italian poet draws of him as alone in hell, shunned even there, as guilty beyond all others, expresses the general feeling about him. And even the attempts which have been made to diminish the greatness of his guilt, by
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jesus Charged with Blasphemy
'Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses?'--MATT. xxvi. 65. Jesus was tried and condemned by two tribunals, the Jewish ecclesiastical and the Roman civil. In each case the charge corresponded to the Court. The Sanhedrin took no cognisance of, and had no concern with, rebellion against Caesar; though for the time they pretended loyalty. Pilate had still less concern about Jewish superstitions. And so the investigation in each
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The New Passover
'Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the passover? 18. And He said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with My disciples. 19. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. 20. Now when the even was come, He sat down with the twelve. 21. And as they did eat, He said,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

'This Cup'
'And Jesus took the cup, and grave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28. For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins'--MATT. xxvi. 27, 28. The comparative silence of our Lord as to the sacrificial character of His death has very often been urged as a reason for doubting that doctrine, and for regarding it as no part of the original Christian teaching. That silence may be accounted for by sufficient reasons. It has been very much
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Gethsemane, the Oil-Press
'Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37. And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38. Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me. 39. And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Real High Priest and his Counterfeit
'And they that had laid hold on Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58. But Peter followed Him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. 59. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death; 60. But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61. And said,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Defence of Uncalculating Love
'Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7. There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat. 8. But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9. For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10. When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon Me. 11. For ye have the poor
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Power of Prayer in Relation to Outward Circumstances.
TEXT: MATT. xxvi. 36-46. TO be a religious man and to pray are really one and the same thing. To join the thought of God with every thought of any importance that occurs to us; in all our admiration of external nature, to regard it as the work of His wisdom; to take counsel with God about all our plans, that we may be able to carry them out in His name; and even in our most mirthful hours to remember His all-seeing eye; this is the prayer without ceasing to which we are called, and which is really
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

An Awful Contrast
"Then did they spit in his face."--Matthew 26:67. "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away."--Revelation 20:11. GUIDED BY OUR TEXT in Matthew's Gospel, let us first go in thought to the palace of Caiaphas the high priest, and there let us, in deepest sorrow, realize the meaning of these terrible words: "Then did they spit in his face." There is more of deep and awful thunder in them than in the bolt that bursts overhead, there is
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 42: 1896

A Woman's Memorial
And now my prayer is that we may be endued this morning with the same spirit as that which prompted the woman, when she broke her alabaster box upon the head of Christ. There must be something wonderful about this story, or else Christ would not have linked it with his gospel, for so hath he done. So long as this gospel lives shall this story of the woman be told; and when this story of the woman ceaseth to exist, then the gospel must cease to exist also, for they are co-eternal. As long as this
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 6: 1860

Sunday Next Before Easter.
What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. These words, we cannot doubt, have an application to ourselves, and to all Christians, far beyond the particular occasion on which they were actually spoken. They are, in fact, the words which Christ addresses daily to all of us. Every day, when he sees how often we have gone astray from him, he repeats to us, Could ye not watch with me one hour? Every
Thomas Arnold—The Christian Life

"For they that are after the Flesh do Mind the Things of the Flesh,",
Rom. viii. 5.--"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh,", &c. Though sin hath taken up the principal and inmost cabinet of the heart of man--though it hath fixed its imperial throne in the spirit of man, and makes use of all the powers and faculties in the soul to accomplish its accursed desires and fulfil its boundless lusts, yet it is not without good reason expressed in scripture, ordinarily under the name of "flesh," and a "body of death," and men dead in sins, are
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Wyclif -- Christ's Real Body not in the Eucharist
John Wyclif, eminent as scholar, preacher, and translator, was born in 1324 in Spresswel, near Richmond, Yorkshire, England. Known as the "Morning Star of the Reformation" he was a vigorous and argumentative speaker, exemplifying his own definition of preaching as something which should be "apt, apparent, full of true feeling, fearless in rebuking sins, and so addrest to the heart as to enlighten the spirit and subdue the will." On these lines he organized a band of Bible preachers who worked largely
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Volume I

That Man must not be Immersed in Business
"My Son, always commit thy cause to Me; I will dispose it aright in due time. Wait for My arrangement of it, and then thou shalt find it for thy profit." 2. O Lord, right freely I commit all things to Thee; for my planning can profit but little. Oh that I did not dwell so much on future events, but could offer myself altogether to Thy pleasures without delay. 3. "My Son, a man often striveth vehemently after somewhat which he desireth; but when he hath obtained it he beginneth to be of another
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Jesus Predicts, the Rulers Plot For, and Judas Bargains for his Death.
(Mount of Olives, Bethany, and Jerusalem. Tuesday After Sunset, Which Jews Regarded as the Beginning of Wednesday.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 1-5, 14-16; ^B Mark XIV. 1, 2, 10, 11; ^C Luke XXII. 1-6. ^c 1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. { ^b 1 Now after two days was the feast of the passover and the unleavened bread:} ^a 1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these words, he said unto his disciples, 2 Ye know that after two days the passover cometh, and
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Preparation for Passover. Disciples Contend for Precedence.
(Bethany to Jerusalem. Thursday Afternoon and, After Sunset, Beginning of Friday.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 17-20; ^B Mark XIV. 12-17; ^C Luke XXII. 7-18, 24-30. ^c 7 And the day of unleavened bread came, on which the passover must be sacrificed. [See p. 57. Leaven was to the Jew a symbol of corruption and impurity, because it causes bread to become stale. The feast of unleavened bread began properly on the fifteenth of Nisan, and lasted seven days, but this was the fourteenth Nisan, the day on which the paschal
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Judas' Betrayal and Peter's Denial Foretold.
(Jerusalem. Evening Before the Crucifixion.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 21-25, 31-35; ^B Mark XIV. 18-21, 27-31; ^C Luke XXII. 21-23, 31-38; ^D John XIII. 21-38. ^b 18 And ^d 21 When Jesus had thus said, ^b as they sat and were eating, ^d he was troubled in the spirit, and ^b Jesus ^d testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. ^b even he that eateth with me. ^c 21 But behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. [The foreknowledge of Judas' crime
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Lord's Supper Instituted.
(Jerusalem. Evening Before the Crucifixion.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 26-29; ^B Mark XIV. 22-25; ^C Luke XXII. 19, 20; ^F I. Cor. XI. 23-26. ^a 26 And as they were eating, ^f the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, { ^b blessed,} ^f he brake it, ^a and he gave to the disciples, and said, ^b Take ye: ^a Take, eat; this is my body. ^f which is ^c given ^f for you: this do in remembrance of me. [As only unleavened bread was eaten during the paschal supper,
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Betrayed, Arrested, and Forsaken.
(Gethsemane. Friday, Several Hours Before Dawn.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 47-56; ^B Mark XIV. 43-52; ^C Luke XXII. 47-53; ^D John XVIII. 2-11. ^d 2 Now Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. [See p. 583.] 3 Judas then, having received the band of soldiers, and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. ^b 43 And straightway, while he yet spake, ^a lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came,
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Second Stage of Jewish Trial. Jesus Condemned by Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin.
(Palace of Caiaphas. Friday.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 57, 59-68; ^B Mark XIV. 53, 55-65; ^C Luke XXII. 54, 63-65; ^D John XVIII. 24. ^d 24 Annas therefore sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. [Foiled in his attempted examination of Jesus, Annas sends him to trial.] ^b and there come together with him all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. ^a 57 And they that had taken Jesus led him away to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, ^c and brought him into the high priest's house. ^a where
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

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