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John 12:1 Anointing of Jesus

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Anointing of Jesus

Mary, the sister of Lazarus, was anointing Jesus when she poured perfume on Jesus’ feet then wiped his feet with her hair.

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John 12:1-11

1. “The account of Mary’s anointing of her Lord is found also in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 339)

“Mark and Matthew report an anointing of Jesus’ head whereas Luke and John speak of anointing of his feet.” (Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25B, John 12-21. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002], 32) (Matthew and Mark above, Luke 7:38; and John 12:3; below)

2. Mary and Martha made supper and Lazarus was there.

Mary anointing Jesus

3. “She [Mary] anointed the feet of Jesus with costly spikenard and wiped them with her hair.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 443)

“‘Spikenard’ was an oil extracted from the root of a plant grown in India. Anointed the feet of Jesus. Since those who were eating reclined at the table, their feet extended away from it, making it possible for Mary to anoint the feet of Jesus. The act symbolized Mary’s humble devotion and love for Him.” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005, 1398)

“When she came to the feet of Jesus, Mary took the place of a slave. When she undid her hair (something Jewish women did not do in public), she humbled herself and laid her glory at His feet (see 1 Corinthians 11:15) Of course, she was misunderstood and criticized, but that is what usually happens when somebody gives his or her best to the Lord.” (Wiersbe, 339)

Criticism of Judas

4. “It was Judas who started the criticism…They did not know that Judas was a devil (John 6:70), and they admired him for his concern for the poor.” (Wiersbe, 339)

5. Three hundred denarii [NKJV]. “Since one denarius was a day’s wage given to common laborers, 300 was equivalent to a year’s wages.” (MacArthur, 1398)

6. “John makes it plain that Judas was not an unfortunate, misguided person. He was inherently an evil thief who had no concern for the poor.” (Borchert, 36)

7. “What Mary did was a blessing to Jesus and a blessing to her own life. She was also a blessing to the home, filling it with fragrance (see Philippians 4:18), and today she is a blessing to the church around the world. Her one act of devotion in the little village of Bethany still sends ‘ripples of blessing.’” (Wiersbe, 339)

“It was a marvelous symbol of burial that would answer the ultimate question of life itself; just as Jesus said, seed that dies bears much fruit (12:24). It was an anointing fit for a king who came to save the world.” (Borchert, 37)

8. “What He is saying here is that we can always be of service to the poor—they are always with us—but that our service should not be a substitute for sitting at His feet.” (McGee, 444)


9. John “draws the reader’s attention away from the anointing scene to the gathering of a crowd that had come to see Jesus (an incredible miracle worker) as well as Lazarus (the recipient of a startling resuscitation). “(Borchert, 38)

10. The fact that the crowd was there “brought the presence of Jesus and Lazarus to the attention of the enemies of Jesus, who had already plotted his death (11:49-53). The presence of Lazarus as a living witness to the power of Jesus meant that the plot now had to be expanded to include the resuscitated Lazarus (12:10). (Borchert, 39)

11. “This ‘loose end’ about the Lazarus raising was having its effect because the narrator tells us that ‘many’ Jews were departing from the fold of the authorities and ‘believing’ in Jesus.” (Borchert, 39)

“This phase signaled both a conscious, deliberate move away from the religion of the authorities and a move toward genuine faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.” (MacArthur, 1398)



Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25B, John 12-21. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004

Plot to Kill Jesus                                                                                                    Triumphal Entry

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