1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said, 5 "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. 7 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always." 9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
Question to Consider:
Jesus returns to Bethany, the town where Lazarus and his family were from, and the site of His greatest miracle. The family rolled out their hospitality and fixed supper for their guests. As the supper proceeded, Mary took a pound of spikenard, which was a very expensive oil and poured it over Jesus' feet and then wiped it off with her own hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Judas Iscariot reacted to this extravagant act of worship with a thinly veiled criticism. "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" v.6 Reveals that not only would Judas betray Jesus, he was also a thief.
There are a number of reasons why the oil was not sold and given to the poor: 1) It was Mary's gift to do with what she had determined; furthermore, she had already set it aside for Jesus. 2) Mary was demonstrating the attitude that you would expect from a sister who is grateful to have her brother back from the dead. Jesus rebukes the outburst from Judas knowing what was in his heart.
A great many Jews gathered at this event of celebration. They came to see Jesus and Lazarus. Lazarus was living, breathing proof of Jesus' power. v.10 This verse tells us that the chief priests were also plotting to put Lazarus to death. They wanted to destroy any evidence that verified Jesus standing as the Christ. What I find incredible about this plot against both Jesus and (now) Lazarus is how far humans are willing to sacrifice their own integrity to hold on to power or to maintain a false narrative. It really speaks of the worst in human nature and reminds me of the politics of today.
Lead Teaching Elder: