With this text Mark begins the final section of his Gospel. From this point he will trace the path that takes Jesus to the cross. But in order to give the whole path, Mark backs up the story to recount an event that happened the night before the Triumphal entry. At a banquet in his honor, Jesus is anointed with very expensive perfume. Some of the disciples believe this to be a wasteful choice. But Jesus defends the action, using it to speak pointedly to His coming death and burial. Sandwiched around this event are Mark’s descriptions of the two parties that will collaborate to destroy Jesus. In this text we see several choices being made, motivated from religious hatred and political disappointment. But Jesus’ commendation of the woman reminds us that choosing to honor Christ first and foremost in our lives is always the most excellent choice.