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Miscellaneous resources and ideas for teaching Mary (Woman) Anoints Jesus

(Note: if you've got a lesson that uses a particular workshop or method, post it in the area for that workshop.)

Matthew 26:6-12Mark 14:3-9Luke 7:37-50, and  John 12:1-8.

Wormy Note:

The story of Mary (or the woman) anointing Jesus' feet is not often taught in Rotation Model Sunday Schools. We teach stories for four to five weeks at a time, and that simply means that SOME stories simply don't fit into the schedule. Instead, stories like this are picked up in children's sermons and fellowship lessons, if desired.

That said, you're welcome to post your ideas!

Originally posted by Member Corey:

Here is a Game idea that worked well for us. I have called it "Busy".

Materials Needed: a dice, I use a dice made of styrofoam 12" square the kids love to throw it, 6 stations to represent 6 numbers on dice. The game is based on scripture that we all need to take time to worship God and not be too "Busy". The children will learn to take the time to serve one another and worship God.

Items needed for 6 stations:
Station 1 Cross, Table & Bible,
Station #2 Pan with soap and water for children to wash each others hands.
Station #3 Game such as jump rope, remote control car, simon says, or another game you might imagine.
Station #4 Gifts such as toys they can wrap
Station #5 Television with Video/DVD player that you can show VeggieTale movie.
Station #6 another game that kids like we used corn hole game. Another small add on is to play the VeggieTale song "Busy Busy" (is from "Are You My Neighbour? DVD and found on VeggieTunes Volume 1 CD, lyrics) during the game it has a great message.

Game- Have stations set up and have one of the children throw the dice. Whatever number it lands on, go to that station and have all the kids participate in that station. The dice will eventually fall on where you have the cross and Bible set up. Spend 5 minutes reading the Bible 5 minutes in prayer, and learning the memory verse. Explain the importance of priorities and spending time worshipping God their creator.

Also spend time doing the other stations and having a great time. We also included hand washing to show servanthood and gift giving to show sharing. I am sure you can even become more creative in the work stations. Having fun games involved in stations shows children that they can have fun being a Christian as well as serious.

Exchange Volunteer modified title of post for clarity.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

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Feel free to add your ideas for any workshop on Mary(woman) Anointing Jesus' feet/Alabaster Jar.

Game Ideas


Perschool - 2nd grade - Divide the children into two teams. One team will be red one will be black. There will be a grid made out of masking tape on the floor. Taking turns each team will throw the bean bag into an unoccupied square and get a chance to answer a question. There will be red and black paper circles, if the team throwing the bean bag answers correctly they get to put one of there circles in that square. If they answer incorrectly, the other team gets a chance to answer the same question and occupy that square.
Then the older kids played a Jeopardy type game.

Foot Washing/Anointing Ideas

Posted by julie burton 

Perhaps you could do a "foot washing" using something like baby oil.

Posted by <Joni>

We did this lesson this morning. First we had the children take their shoes and socks off. Then we played "follow the leader" in the play area where it is sandy. Then we came back to the classroom and we announced that they were going to wash each others feet. This met with ewwwwww, but they did it. Then we made perfume. The kids loved it and one even told us she was glad she came- today-. Made our day. Joni

This Lesson Stinks

Posted by Neil MacQueen

The word "anointing" is the same word (different form) as "Messiah" -which is translated "anointed one." The Messiah is the one who smells pleasing to God. ie...Jesus smells sweet, good.

There are numerous references in the OT to God wanting good smelling things. Sin is associated with bad smells.

I remember years ago a lesson that left a LASTING impressing ---probably because it "Stunk" (smell memories are the hardest to get rid of and easiest to recall because they reside in the oldest memory centers of the human brain). We had baby food jars with different things in them and a holes in the top. We had to smell each and figure out what it was. This same idea could be used for a group to decide "which smell like goodness, pleasing to God, and which smell like sin.)

The point is NOT the truth about the smells, but that we're using SMELL to lock the concept of anointing and Messiah and pleasing to God INTO their deep memory
storage. They will not forget this lesson or its associated concepts.

Hope your lesson stinks! <>< Neil


Posted by Neil MacQueen

...That woman with the alabaster jar is identified as Mary in one of the other gospels. One of the original "Spice Girls."

Can you get hold of some raw alabaster from a rock shop? I have a hunk of it on my shelf. It isn't very expensive (it's a form of compressed gypsum) It's a pretty rough looking stone with an oily feel but easy to carve with something as blunt as a screwdriver. When rubbed, it polishes easily. Add a little car wax and it polishes very nicely. There are web pages about working Alabaster you can consult. Neil

Making Perfume

Posted by Julieh99

I'm preparing a lesson on Mary anointing Jesus' feet. Somewhere I've seen instructions for making perfume by crushing rose or flower petals and adding other things. Does anyone know of the process for this, and does this come anywhere near approximating the way perfume was made in the time of Jesus?

Posted by SheilaB

To make ancient perfumed ointments, Danto and Seefried tried a method that is still used today. They spread flower petals, containing the desired fragrant substance, over animal fat. The fragrant substances in the petals, called essential oils by perfumers, were dissolve in the fat. More petals were added until the animal fat was saturated with perfume.

To make ancient perfumed oils, Danto and Seefried extracted perfume by mixing herbs, flower petals, leaves, or seeds with hot non-acidic vegetable oil made from pressing olives. They let the mixture soak at 30-40°C. Then they pressed the mixture through a bag to extract the perfumed oil from the pressed olive mixture and stored it in alabaster and lapis lazuli vessels, which had been reproduced from original models. Danto and Seefried point out that because ancient perfumes were made from olive oil, they could be consumed and were often added to wine (Danto 14-17).

The above was from a web article Ancient Perfume by Lois Fruen (link removed-no longer active) for full article.

I got all of this just by searching the web. I looked under bible perfumes and make biblical perfumes and there are many other sources. SheilaB

Cooking Ideas

Posted by Cheryl Chase on February 20, 2003

I need some cooking ideas for the "Woman with the Alabaster Jar" lesson. The taffy idea is a little too cumbersome for the 1st and 2nd graders going to the workshop given our timeframe. We were thinking of braiding two different kinds of bread dough.

Posted by Dian

Playing off the "jar" idea what about doing cake in a jar?
I have seen this done where you bake the cake in the jar..or is it a can? it was very fun and surprising...the cake was yummy too! Maybe someone out there knows of the recipe!

Posted by Ronnah

I haven't used a jar or a can but how about using clay flower pots. If you are talking about 1st or 2nd graders you could use the smaller pots but one cake mix could make a lot of "small" cakes, just like cupcakes.

Art Ideas


For the art room the kids got to make an "alabaster jar" of their own. I found glass jars at a pretty good price and they covered them with tissue paper. We used starch to "glue" the tissue paper to the jar, it is really great because it drys completely clear. Kind of a messy project but they enjoyed it. Then we put smelly loction in their jar, as a reminder of the perfume.

Drama Ideas

Jan FPC Napa

I posted our games lesson elsewhere in this forum ...For the drama workshop (which I don't have in detail yet) we're going to have a woman portray a "friend of Mary's". She'll invite the kids to take off their shoes and socks at the door and invite them into her tent, telling them the customs where she is from when guests come to visit. She'll offer a bowl of water and towels for them to wash their feet, a cool drink of water, and a headband with perfume on it to refresh them (and drive the stink away )

She'll then tell the story from John 12:1-8 (again as a friend of Mary's recounting the events) using props.

After discussion of why Mary loved Jesus so much and how she showed it, kids will then be given a square of light colored fabric (4"x4") and using permanent markers write or draw one real way they can show Jesus how much they love him this week. They'll then spray a quick spray of perfume on their fabric to take home. They'll also discuss 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 where Paul says wherever we go God uses us to tell others about the Lord and to "spread the Good News like a sweet perfume. Our lives are like a fragrance presented by Christ to God."

Lisa M.

For drama you should just be able to read the Bible story and have the children pantomime actions. Perhaps read it once from each of the gospels to help the kids see how it is different in each one.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Movie Ideas for Mary (Woman) Anoints Jesus

You might try the Jesus film, or the Jesus film for children. Either one of these might include this scene in them. You could talk about what was in her jar, and why Judas was so upset with her using it the way she did. And, of course, why Jesus was so pleased with what she did.
Posted by Cindy LB

Editor adds: Jesus Film story starts at approx. 37 minute mark and ends a the 41 minutes mark. Version used is Luke 7:37-50.

Matthew - Visual Bible has very short scene of this event. If you have the DVD it is on the 2nd DVD (2 volume set). Search by event - it's #82 "Jesus Anointed at Bethany".

Worthy Is The Lamb (Nest Learning) shows this, it is at the end of Chapter 1 on the DVD.  Uses John 12:1-8 version. Posted by Luanne Payne

Why not have the kids make their own video? Might be fun to just show someone's feet (not the whole person) and first have "the woman" pour perfume. Then have each of the kids answer "What extravagant gift will you give Jesus?" and video tape them sitting at "Jesus' feet" telling/showing. Then pass out popcorn and let them watch the video they made. Could even turn into a keeper to show the adults at some point!

Another idea would be to let the kids do a puppet show of this story and video tape it, then play back for them. Posted by Jan FPC Napa

"Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman"
A three-minute animated video based on Luke 7:36-50 from Saddleback Kids.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Illustration of a woman anointing Jesus' head from the Annie Vallotton Bible Illustrations Collection


A woman anoints Jesus' head with perfume or oil. (Matthew 26)

Link to larger and higher resolution versions of the Vallotton illustrations and color background options as well in our Vallotton Bible Images Forum (Supporting Membership required, become one today). Copyright and usage information here.


Images (1)
  • Jesus-Woman-Oil-Perfume-Vallotton

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