Mary Anoints Jesus

John 12:1-8 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then said one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always you have with you; but me ye have not always. 

‘Six days before the passover’ On the 9th day of Nisan (our April) – our Thursday sunset to Friday sunset. He came to Jericho and spent Thursday night at the house of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). He delivered the parable of the pounds and proceeded to Jerusalem (Luke 19:11-28). He sent two disciples for the ass and her colt, making His first entry into Jerusalem and returning to Bethany in the evening of Friday (Mat. 21:1-17).

This was the first of three suppers of the last week: the first one was six days before the passover in the house of Lazarus. Jesus slept here Friday night and spent the last sabbath in rest and at sunset when the sabbath ended the supper was served. Mary anointed the Lord on this occasion. The second one took place two days before the passover in the house of Simon the leper, also in Bethany (Mar. 14:1-9). At this supper an unknown woman anointed Jesus. Then there was the last supper (John 13:1-20; Mat. 26:20; Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14).

Judas Iscariot complained about the use of the expensive ointment, for at this stage he was in a backslidden stage and was accumulating wealth and wanted to steal the ointment for profit, not to sell and give to the poor, for he was past caring for others. Jesus told him to leave her alone for she was anointing Him for His death as He made another reference to His death which the disciples failed to see.

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