"Why are you bothering this woman? ..." (Matt. 26:10-13)

"Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her." (Matthew 26:10-13)

Did Jesus know 'this woman'?

This translation makes it appear that the woman being referred to is some stranger who approached Jesus. Some have even falsely represented that the woman, Mary Magdalene, was a prostitute.

Several verses in John explain otherwise. Not only was she not some strange woman off the street, but she was a student of Jesus, along with her sister and brother, Lazarus:
This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick." When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's son may be glorified through it." Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. (John 11:2-5)
And later:
And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and is asking for you." When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. (John 11:28-29)
Here we see that both Mary, who is pouring the oil, and Martha, her sister, were followers of Jesus, as they both referred to Jesus as "the Teacher."

In between these verses, we see an exchange between Martha and Jesus, illustrating that Jesus was directly giving her instruction - teaching her. So the sisters accepted Jesus as their teacher, and he accepted them as his followers.

What did Jesus mean by the 'memory of her'?

In Jesus' statement above, what did he mean by the "memory of her"? Was the 'memory or her' that she was a prostitute? This is what some sectarians have interpreted.

Rather, as Jesus states here, those who truly are passing on Jesus' teachings maintain a loving memory of Mary, and her act of loving service to Jesus.

We find evidence among other ancient texts that Jesus had a close teacher-student relationship with Mary. The Gospel of Mary is one of those texts. This ancient gospel revealed that Jesus had a close teacher-student relationship with Mary.

But Jesus' other students did not like this. The Gospel of Mary documents that some of the other disciples did not approve of Mary having been taught some things directly by Jesus.

But Jesus' love extended to his disciples and other followers:
Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. (John 11:5)
Who is Martha's sister? It is none other than Mary Magdalene.

Such an attitude is interestingly similar to the attitude portrayed in this event. Jesus' disciples were not comfortable with the relationship between Jesus and Mary.

When Mary has poured scented oil on Jesus, and his other disciples became "indignant" according to the text (Matt. 26:9). They said, "Why this waste?" This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor." (Matt. 26:8-9)

Jesus then chastises these other followers, as they did not perceive the importance of rendering service to their teacher Jesus.

Was Jesus married?

The Gospels do not document with certainty that Jesus was married. But there are some indications that he was.

According to the Gospels, Jesus was a Rabbi. There are many instances where he was addressed as "Rabbi" by his followers and others, including those of the Temple Society:
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him." (John 3:1-2)
According to the ancient Temple Society tradition, a person could not be accepted as a Rabbi unless they were married.

Jesus was not only accepted as a Rabbi by his followers and various others. He also spoke on the Temple Mount - a place where again, the Jewish Society would not allow a person to speak from the Temple Mount unless they were a Rabbi, and married. That is because the Temple Mount is the site of the First Temple and considered holy.

This means that Jesus could have been married. If Jesus was married who was he married to?

We find in the Gospel of Philip an indication that Jesus was married to Mary:
Three Marys accompanied the Master at all times – his mother, his sister and Magdalene – the one they call his partner. Thus Mary is the name of his sister and his mother and his mate. (Gospel of Phillip:36)
We also find that Mary had kissed Jesus' feet. Jesus told his followers:
"You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet." (Luke 7:45)
If Jesus was married, this fact has been muted in the four Gospels for some reason. It may have been hidden or simply not addressed for other reasons.

This isn't the only aspect of Jesus that has been hidden or downplayed in many sectarian teachings.

Was Jesus ever a student?

After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. (Luke 2:46)
This verse indicates that Jesus was a student before he was a teacher. This verse says that he listened to the teachers. Then it says that he was asking them questions.

This is what a student does. A student listens and asks questions.

We also know that Jesus was a student of the Prophets and teachers in the lineage of Noah and Abraham. This is why Jesus so often quoted the teachings of Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, Abraham, and John the Baptist.

In order to quote all of these, Jesus had to have learned about them. This means that Jesus was a student of the Prophets before he was a teacher.

Jesus explained how the teacher-student relationship works:
"I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the One who sent me." (John 13:20)
Jesus is referring to "anyone I send" as his followers, who went out and taught others as Jesus instructed them to do. If one accepted the sincere student of Jesus who passed on Jesus' teachings without change, then Jesus clarifies that the person is also accepting Jesus, and accepting the Supreme Being, because Jesus is God's representative and the Supreme Being is "the One who sent me."

This is why Joshua was a student of Moses before he became a teacher. This is why David was a student of Saul and Samuel before he became a teacher. This is why Samuel was a student of Eli before he became a teacher. This is why Solomon was a student of David before he became a teacher. And this is why Jesus was a student of John the Baptist before he became a teacher.

When we put this lineage together - we find another entire dimension to the history of the teachings of Jesus, despite the mangling of the texts by politically appointed scribes. Jesus constantly quoted those previous teachers like David, Moses and Samuel because he came from their lineage of teachings. By accepting John the Baptist's teachings, Jesus accepted all of the teachers before John. And more importantly, by accepting his teachers' teachings, Jesus accepted the One who sent all of them: the Supreme Being.

But some sectarian teachers would like us to believe that Jesus' baptism by John was meaningless. It was only a little miracle, and it didn't mean that Jesus was John's student. They would also like us to believe that all of the teachers, such as Abraham, Moses, Eli, Samuel, David, Solomon and all of those in between were all simply "prophets." Their only purpose was to simply predict Jesus' coming.

If this is true, why did these ancient teachers have so many followers? Why did they teach the same basic tenets that Jesus taught? Why did God talk to them and tell them to speak on His behalf? Why did Jesus quote them so many times?

Even Jesus' first and foremost commandment to love God was given as a quote from Moses' statement from Deuteronomy 6:5. Have sectarian teachers forgotten that Jesus' teachings reflected the ancient spiritual teachers that came before him?

They want us to believe that Jesus is the only teacher and the only representative of God who ever existed.

Why, then, are there so many teachers among the various sects then? Why are all these professional priests and preachers teaching if Jesus is the only teacher? Why are there so many Bible study teachers among the churches? If Jesus is the only teacher, why do they teach?

How did they know Jesus was God's Messiah?

Jesus' followers recognized something about Jesus that has been borne out over the centuries: That Jesus was God's representative. He was a messenger of God - the Messiah.

But how did they recognize him? Jesus defined this process in his teachings:
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44)
This explains clearly that it is God who revealed Jesus to his followers.

God set up this method for us to reach him. Why? Because God is all about relationships, and love of God requires a relationship. It is not as if suddenly we can just love God out of the blue.

We can be introduced to God by someone who knows Him. Once we are introduced, if we follow that person's teachings - which show us how we can learn to please the Supreme Being - then God will make Himself more and more known to us. As He wishes: He is in charge, not us.

If God exists, why can't I see Him?

The reality is, God isn't allowing us to see Him. He has purposely hidden Himself from our physical view for a reason.

He has hidden Himself from our physical view because deep inside we really don't want to see Him.

Why don't we want to see God? Because He is God. God means all-powerful. God means He is in control of everything. God means that He is the center of the universe, and we are not.

This conflicts with the fact that we want to be the center of the universe. Most of us are acting as though we are the center, and everything revolves around us.

Doesn't that present a conflict? We want to be the champion. We want to be the winner. We want fame. We want glory. We want to be wealthy. We want all of these things because we want God's position.

Therefore, seeing God would threaten the position we see ourselves as - the center - the winner - the champion - the best or the rest. Hence, we would rather not see God and face the fact that He is these things and more. We would rather ignore Him. We would rather pretend that He doesn't exist.

As though it is our decision whether He exists or not.

But being the center of the universe, with all our adoring fans and wealth, won't make us happy. Only love will make us happy.

Jesus' teachings are founded upon love. This is why Jesus quoted Moses' teaching as the most important instruction:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)