Take into consideration that oil sometimes represent the Holy Spirit and that He dwells in believers of Jesus Christ.
Mary and Martha Worship and Serve
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
The Anointing at Bethany
Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.
But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”
Mary poured out this valuable oil on the Master’s feet and the fragrance of the oil filled the house. I believe that it was not only poured out to anoint Jesus for his burial, but as an act of worship. This makes me think that when we are worshiping God with all of our heart, we are in essence pouring ourselves out to Him and there is an “aroma” that fills our home (or our temple/body where God dwells).
I believe that these passages took place at two separate times. However, note what happened, Judas attacked what Mary had done. Also, in Luke we see Martha attacking her what she was doing there as well.
I love how Jesus defends her! We can rest assured that Satan will attack us when we are living a life of worship. He wants to get our attention off of God. But don’t let that happen. Praise Him through it all. Mary didn’t defend herself; nor did she jump up to help Martha. She simply rested at the feet of Jesus. (love that!!)
Jesus is better than anything this world has to offer and He is the “one thing that is needed.” There really is no comparison. Yes, I agree that there is work to be done and we can help the poor and needy (in spirit as well as physically poor and needy). But if we don’t spend time at His feet, identifying ourselves with Him and worshiping our Savior, how can we share His love with others?