Just now as my dear wife MaryLee was heading for bed, I read the paragraph below out loud to her. She's a veteran but repentant feminist, so I knew she'd miss nothing. Sadly, she spoke epigrammatically, limiting her comments to a scant six words. You'll find them inserted in the text below, in bold.
Carolyn Custis James:
One of the most theologically profound moments in the ministry of Jesus was when Mary of Bethany anointed Him for His burial as He braced for the agonies of the passion. Jesus' commendation of her anointing is unequaled and drops significant clues regarding how much her ministry meant to Him. Her actions were theologically driven, not blithely done in ignorance. [What about love?] As His rabbinical student, she knew His teachings. In the death of her brother Lazarus (John 11), she learned the hard way that Jesus can be trusted no matter how bad things get and that He is the resurrection and the life. She had been well trained by her seminary professor, Rabbi Jesus, and at a crucial moment made a definitive theological statement by openly affirming the gospel and boldly encouraging Jesus to obey His Father. [Whoa!] Jesus knew exactly what she was doing. He not only defended her against her critics, He interpreted her actions. "When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial." If she acted in ignorance, this was an appalling display of unbelief. But Jesus linked her actions to the gospel and said, "She has done a beautiful thing to me" (Matthew 26:6-13; John 12:1-8). So far as we know, she was the first of His disciples to understand the Resurrection--one of the key benchmarks for any Reformed theologian. [Go Mary!]