“...a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table...'Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”” Matthew 26:6–13
Right in between the promise of Matthew 24:14 that the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in "the whole world" as a testimony to "all the nations" before the end comes and the great commission to make disciples of "all nations" in Matthew 28:19 stands one of the most potent, and perhaps one of the most disobeyed, texts on missions in the New Testament. The act of love by Mary of Bethany just six days before the crucifixion moved the heart of Jesus so deeply that He decreed it a missiological memorial. Throughout the history of the Church this scene has been understood to represent extravagant devotion flowing out of deep intimacy with Jesus.
Mary stands a picture of the response of love that Jesus desires from all of humanity (Mark 12:36), and thus He memorializes it and binds it to the global proclamation of the gospel. A life of vital communion with Jesus through prayer is, therefore, essential for the missionary and must intrinsic to the vision of discipleship offered to the convert. This section is devoted to expounding upon how one abides in Christ through prayer and extolling the high vision of abandoned love for Jesus set forth in the scriptures.