"The Splash Effect"
November 1, 2016

C. R. Oliver

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November 1, 2016

"The Splash Effect"


          Just after returning from the Atlanta meeting, Brother David Waller and I were conversing, and in the course of the conversation, he related a "tidbit" that directed me to this subject. He said, "When Mary anointed Jesus' feet with oil and dried them with her hair; she reeked of the anointing oil and filled the room with the fragrance." He went on to say that what we do for Jesus has this same aspect for us. "We give glory and that glory covers us. It fills the atmosphere around us and changes our spiritual house."

          Immediately, the title, "Splash Effect," came to mind. I believe this same effect operates in the negative as well as the positive. One cannot sew discord without living with discord. One cannot judge another without being judged. One cannot defame another without facing defamation.

          Neither can one sew love and encouragement without love and encouragement surrounding him or her. The "splash effect" is operating all the time. In the Song of Solomon, the fragrance found in the following accounts was ordained to be, even though some confusion reigns as to who did what and when. Look for a moment, at the relevance of the anointing that comes into play between Jesus and His Bride.

Song 1:12
12 While the king is at his table,
My spikenard sends forth its fragrance.

Later, in describing His planting in the garden of her heart, she mentions the ingredients of the costly oil which grows in order to bring it forth at the proper time.

Song 4:14
14 Spikenard and saffron,
Calamus and cinnamon,
With all trees of frankincense,
Myrrh and aloes,
With all the chief spices -

Flooding the three accounts of Jesus' anointings in the New Testament are derivatives from this Old Testament prophetic scene. I think the errors that have grown up regarding Mary's anointing, as well as others, is because there is a demonic effort (like with all truth) to defame what Jesus treasured. He knew the Song's prophetic words were for His burial anointing and that the three wise men's gifts were similarly misunderstood. It was not coincidence Song 1:12 pictures the King at a table, for Mary's anointing was in this type setting.

Mary Magdalene, though, was never attributed as anointing Jesus. This is the first truth which comes to light in researching these events. Too whom, then, do the New Testament writers attribute this action? Let us look first in John's writings. It is necessary to begin with John 11 and move then to the actual event in John 12.

John 11:1-2 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick

John sets the stage in one place and points to the next Chapter for the closer examination of the events itself. Notice several things that are not noted in his account. We assume it was Lazarus' house where Mary and Martha (his sisters) lived, since Martha is cited as serving those gathered there.

I. Account of John:

12:1 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. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 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.

4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said, 5 "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 6 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.

7 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always."

John leaves out "the memorial" aspect of the deed. He also attributes the question of the "could have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor" only to Judas.

The beautiful aspect of the "splash effect" is noted, however. Naturally, Mary is scented with the same oil she anointed Jesus with. Her hair was reeking of it. (Much ado has been made about her hair being loose in a society that did not allow uncovered hair and worn mostly braided.) Further, the fragrance had to be on her hands and body as well, for she was actively involved with the drying of His feet. The house was filled with the smell of the oil. It got on rugs, furniture, clothing, bedclothes-it was everywhere. You ask "why was this significant?" Again the answer is found in Song of Solomon when the Shulamite smelled of the fragrance of myrrh from His presence at her door. This identified her with Him. This even caused the evil watchmen to misconstrue her intent to find Him. His "fragrance of Identity" should be on all of us. His presence changes the atmosphere around His saints. Perhaps a good example would be Moses when he returned from the mountain. He glowed of the glory.

II. Account of Matthew

Matthew's account of the Anointing may or may not be the same as John's account. Matthew simply identifies her as a "woman." There are also several differences in the rendering which are worthy of note. Keep aware of them as you read the passage below.

Matthew 26:6-13

And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. 8 But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? 9 For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor."

10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. 12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."

A specific house belonging to "Simon, the leper" is designated. Why no mention of the servings of Martha? Why is there reference only to "a woman and not specifically of Mary?" In this account, the oil is poured on His head. No mention is made of feet and hair. All the Disciples are involved in the "indignant" role. Jesus addressed all of them as a unit without singling out Judas. Lastly, Matthew gives the "memorial" blessing that is not mentioned by John.

Are both of these the same person? Is Matthew alluding to Mary Magdalene doing an anointing rather than Mary, Lazarus' sister? Are these accounts separate since one concentrates on the feet and another on the head and whole body? If the Disciples registered indignacy at one such event, why register such when another took place. Is Matthew using the "woman" aspect much as Jesus did in addressing His mother from the cross?

There are similarities that lend "the same event" status, but there are enough differences to conclude two separate events, in which case the third account would round out and signify the three days in the tomb before the resurrection.

Splash effect is really connected to this second text, however. The lasting quality of the event is guaranteed perpetuity both as referencing the "woman" but also the event. Jesus says the gospel message must include this event, and the woman connected to it, in order to be the complete gospel message. Yet, how many messages are preached as the total gospel and omit her memorial?

III. Account of Luke:

Again, there are significant differences in Luke's account that point to at least a separate anointing in his reportage. The huge difference is the "woman of sin," her actions and her point of forgiveness.

Luke 7:36-40

Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee's house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, "This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.

40 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you."

So he said, "Teacher, say it."

41 "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?"

43 Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more."

And He said to him, "You have rightly judged." 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.

45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."

48 Then He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

50 Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."


Luke 7 is rich plowing and one must read the whole of the chapter to garner the setting for this third account. Jesus had been in the city of Nain, where Jesus raised a dead man. Shortly after this visit, there arrived messengers from the imprisoned John the Baptist. In response, Jesus does many more healings and tells the messengers to inform John what they saw with their own eyes. Jesus then tells the crowd that John's baptisms were real and a part of the message he had from God.

Tax Collectors, and many others, confirmed their baptism of repentance through him. The Pharisees did not honor him and thus were out of the will of God. It is one of those Pharisees who invited Jesus to his home.

Luke 7:29-30
29 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.

Though the Pharisee's name was Simon, is he the leper? I don't think so. Is this event with an unforgiven female sinner the same as the women of the other two accounts? I don't think so. Are the disciples not present? Who is this sinful woman whom Pope Gregory the First (590-604 AD) said was Mary Magdalene? Is she the Magdalene? I don't think so!

Review the text.

Upon hearing that Jesus was in town, this unnamed woman came and stood behind Jesus while he was seated at the table. Bowed down with her repentance, she wept on his feet, anointed them with oil and dried her tears and oil with her hair. (Many believe she had lived as a prostitute. There were prostitutes in Israel, for Judah turned into visit one and had relations with a "pretend one." Jesus is of the line of the tribe of Judah.)

The disobedient and rejecting Pharisee immediately judged the situation and insinuated that Jesus had just proven He was not a real prophet or He would have refused her oblation and rebuked her actions. Jesus was now, in his eyes, ceremonially unclean. Jesus had accepted the advances and touches of a defiled woman! Pharisees are like that; they see defilement everywhere and themselves as Temple Clean.

Jesus took him to task. He asked permission to question him, and the Pharisee saw this as opportunity to "defend the faith."

Jesus gave a parable. His example was one of a creditor with two debtors. One debtor owed a small debt and the other a handsome sum. The creditor forgave them both. Jesus asked the Pharisee a legal question. Who would have been the most grateful? Had he answered, "Both equally, for it was debt forgiven," he might have been ministered to. Instead, he answered, "the one with the most debt."

Jesus then compared the actions of a "self righteous Pharisee" to a grossly sinful woman. This alone would have enraged the host. Jesus pointed out the respectful duty of the Pharisee and the unsolicited action of a grateful heart. She had faith to believe her actions would characterize her changed life. It did! Jesus accepted her offering of sincerity of heart and rebuked the Pharisee. The splash effect of service resulted in her forgiveness. There was no "go and sin no more." He knew she would not, for she had changed. He also knew the stubborn and rejecting nature of the Pharisee would not change, for he would continue to depend upon legalism for his support, not the opinion of what he deemed a false prophet. The support group who sat with him questioned, "Just who does He think He is, forgiving sin?"

Hardened hearts have little regard for mercy and grace. The Pharisee could have been forgiven that day, but he admitted to no sin. He felt he was superior to the prostitute. His legalism cost him the continuation of the visit with Jesus. The party had been ruined and Jesus was free to leave.

There is such a thing as "negative splash effect." The action of the Pharisee bled over into his guests and re-enforced their Pharisee-ism. It also prevented any of them of inquiring more from Jesus. The wall that was built between them and Jesus was self-imposed. Ministry departed when the woman departed. She walked out into freedom and light. They increased their darkness and ultimately damnation-though religiously correct.

Her forgiveness gave her license to go out and encourage those of her companions to seek Him and change, while the Pharisees hardened their hearts.

Mary Magdalene

If Mary Magdalene was not either of the women cited above, just who was she?

It was after the "sinful woman" event that the Bible reveals Mary of Magdalene. She was a woman of substance evidently because she and other women of means used their resources to support Jesus' ministry. The splash effect of those activities afforded her the first glimpse of the resurrected Savior. She stayed faithful during His teaching and healing ministry, the cross and His burial and was rewarded.

Luke 8:1-3
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities - Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.

Nowhere is Mary Magdalene associated with the three accounts noted above. She is introduced in the eighth chapter of Luke, as one who had seven devils. Jesus cast them out and she was loosed and thankful. Speculation starts at this point, and church teaching assumes too much. First, we know that devils control action, but we are not told what her actions were. Some speculate mental illness, others sinful activities. Mental aberration can be equated to the Demoniac who tore things and could not be contained. He was never equated to be a charlatan or a rake, just a madman. He wanted to follow Jesus and tell the world his experience. He was told to tell his villager neighbors and was refused in his offer. Mary was made part of the team.

Mary has been pictured as Jesus' favorite-above His other Disciples. Later church writings attest to everything from being a faithful supporter of ministry down to Jesus' consort who bore Him children.

She was declared a Saint, made to be a prostitute who anointed Jesus in repentance, by the Romanists. She was posed as an example of doing Penance and serving the Catholic doctrines related to such. She supposedly was so remorseful that she went to another country and lived a hermit's life through 30 years of meditative contrition.

She also has been declared the "composite Mary." Wherever "Mary" is named, she was the person alluded to.

Her faithful ministry had its reward for her concern (John 20) which comes alive in Mark's account.

John 20:1-2
Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."

Mark 16:9-11
Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

Like Isaiah, her hearers did not believe her report. But, that did not diminish the fact.

One must go back to John's account in order to see the series of events surrounding her first privilege.

John 20:11-20
But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?"
She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."
14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?"
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away."
16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!"
She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'"
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

His voice made the difference! His assurance of continued favor was when He identified Himself along with her as going to God, the Father.

Oh, I tell you it pays to serve the Lord. The splash effects will fragrance your life and saturate your being. The atmosphere changes because you enter a room. Conversation deepens when you are in the presence of those who have the same fragrance. Traditions bow before the power of "coming from His Presence." Heavenly beings rejoice when they smell your scent. You become the incense waved before the altar,

Ps 141:2
2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Your prayers change the course of time and nations. Your testimony bears weight because of the anointing upon it.

Rev 5:8-10
Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

"You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth."

(For a review of the inaccuracies surrounding Mary Magdalene, simply go to Wikipedia and read the twisted things religion and speculation have proposed.)

[Please Vote:
Kenneth Copeland has done a great program on how to vote which can be seen on one of the internet TV opportunities like Roku or a smart TV on Copeland's Believer's Voice of Victory Channel. The program is called, "Faith for Our Nation." It features Pastor Pearson, Keith Butler and David Barton with Kenneth on the first half. Very timely and informative.]

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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