Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lesson - Mary And The Alabaster Box

VERSES:   Matthew 26:6-13;  Mark 14:3-9;  John 12:1-9

MEMORY VERSE:  Mark 14:8  "She hath done what she could..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Esther.  Write "Esther" on small slips of paper, so the students may take them home to learn another Old Testament book. We are working our way though all of the Old Testament books. It may be beneficial to recite all 17 books of the Old Testament together as a class.

PRAYER:   Pray that we will always do the very best we can in whatever we attempt, especially in spiritual things.

SPECIAL SONG:  Jesus Taught By Parable And Miracle (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog. Click on orange circle for tune.) Mary, Martha, And Lazarus (see May 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #5 on this blog. Click orange circle for tune.) The Books Of The Old Testament (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click orange circle to hear the tune.)

VISUAL AID:  A large Activity (see below)

  • Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived in the town of Bethany at the house of Simon, the leper.. This was the same town where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived and where Lazarus had died. Remember Jesus had brought Lazarus back to to life after he had been dead for four days. Many of the Jews had believed that Jesus was the Son of God, but some had not.
  • They had made a supper for Jesus. Martha was in charge of the serving and Lazarus was one of the ones who sat at the table with Jesus. While they were at the table, Mary took a pound of very expensive ointment called spikenard that was kept in an alabaster box and anointed or poured the ointment on Jesus' feet, wiping his feet with her hair. We might think that this was unusual, but in Bible times, this was not unusual. The house was filled with the good smell of the ointment.
  • There was one of Jesus' disciples named Judas Iscariot, who was going to betray Jesus in just a few days. To betray means to pretend that you are a friend, but you really are not. Judas said to Jesus, "Why wasn't this ointment sold for a great amount of money and given to the poor?" Judas asked this question, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief! As Jesus and His disciples traveled, there was one disciple who carried their small amount of money in a bag. That disciple was Judas Iscariot. He was more concerned about the money than the poor people. The people complained about Mary and what she had done.. 
  • But Jesus told Judas Iscariot to leave Mary alone. She had done a good work, an act of kindness for Jesus. Jesus said that there would always be poor people, but that they would not always have Jesus with them. Mary had done what she could. Jesus knew that he would die soon, so he said that Mary had anointed his body with the nice smelling ointment. Jesus continued to say that wherever the gospel would be preached throughout the whole world, people would hear about Mary and what she done, and it would as a memorial to her. We are reading about her today, aren't we? We are remembering a story about Mary just like Jesus said we would.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • The ointment that Mary used to wipe her hair on Jesus' feet was called spikenard. Spikenard was a very expensive perfumed amber-colored ointment in Bible times. The opintment was inside an alabaster box. Alabaster looks a lot like marble. Many times alabaster is confused with marble. 
ACTIVITY:  Mary's Alabaster Box
Materials needed:  two 4" x 4" white paper (I used bond or typing paper), 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" amber (yellowish) paper (I used a report card envelope like the one below, but any yellowish paper will be just fine), marker, tape, scissors.

  1.  Hand out both pieces of white paper.
  2. Fold 1/2" all around each of the four edges of each paper.
  3. In the larger flat area of one of the two folded papers, write "Mary's Alabaster Box" and "John 12:1-9." This is the top lid of the box.
  4. On opposite sides of each white paper, cut on short folded lines. These are the sides of the boxes.
  5. Fold edges up, taping them to the connecting edge, forming a box lid. Do this on both papers.
  6. Hand out amber colored paper. This is the ointment.
  7. Write "Expensive Spikenard Ointment Mary Used To Anoint Jesus' Feet" on amber paper.
  8. Place ointment inside bottom of box. 
  9. Place box lid on top of the bottom of the box.
  10. Gently, carry home.