Time was growing short and the reality of Jesus’s death was near.
For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. (Matthew 26:11 KJV)
Jesus spoke this scripture verse in response to the disbelief and anger of the disciples towards a woman who had poured expensive perfume upon Him as she came near unto Him. The disciples, who were gathered around Jesus, thought this woman was quite wasteful as the extravagant perfume was likely used exclusively when burying the dead to mask the pungent odor of death. They saw no reason for this woman’s cavalier action towards Jesus.
Jesus understood that she was displaying reverent worship of Him. He did not confront her about her generous outpouring of adoration from her tender heart, but rather rebuked the disciples for their brash and unpolished attitude. The disciples were clearly still in the dark, not understanding Jesus would face His own physical death soon. They took for granted that He would always be among them.
Jesus knew His death was right around the corner and soon fragrant perfume such as this would likely be poured upon Him after His physical body expired. Perhaps this event was used as a picture of Jesus being anointed in preparation of His own death but nobody, including His own disciples, understood that Jesus would die and not be with them for much longer. His time upon this earth was drawing to a close.
Jesus further stated this woman would be long remembered for her adoration and outpouring of love for Him and knew the disciples would also be remembered likewise for their unsophisticated view of Him.