Mary Anoints Jesus’ Feet

Others will not care how much we know until they know how much we care. As one authority puts it: “If I just do my thing and you do yours, we stand in danger of losing each other and ourselves.... we are fully ourselves only in relation to each other. I do not find you by ch … More


Six days before the Passover, Jesus returned to Bethany, the city of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, where he had raised Lazarus from the dead (v. 1). He attended a dinner in the home of Simon the Leper (Mark 14:1_11) (v. 2). Martha, Lazarus, and Mary were there. Martha served, Lazarus sat at the table with Jesus, and Mary took a pint of very expensive ointment and anointed the feet of Jesus (v. 3). The perfume was a fragrant oil prepared from the roots and stems of an aromatic herb from northern India. It was an expensive perfume, imported in sealed alabaster boxes or flasks which were opened only on special occasions. Mary’s lavish gift (a pint) expressed her love and thanks to Jesus for Himself and for His restoring Lazarus to life. The house was filled with the fragrance.

A disciple named Judas Iscariot was there; He was the one who was going to betray Jesus (vv. 4-5). Here we see that Judas couldn’t understand. He thought the perfume, which was a year’s wages or perhaps a lifetime of savings, should have been sold and given to the poor. Judas did not really care about the poor (v. 6). He asked this because he was a thief and wanted money for himself secretly and selfishly. Mary was anointing Jesus for His burial, and Jesus defended Mary’s act of love. Jesus told Judas to “Leave her alone! He said she has kept this perfume for the day of His burial (v. 7). 


He went on to say, “you will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me (v.8). However, the opportunity to show love to me on earth is limited. He said, “But me ye have not always.” People came to see Jesus and Lazarus because Lazarus had been restored, and many Jews believed in Jesus (v. 9). Now the chief priests planned to kill two men, Jesus and Lazarus (vv. 10-11)!



Have you noticed that when God’s work is being multiplied, then the enemy tries every way to stop it? I need to be as concerned about showing my love for Jesus as Mary did.

John 12:1-11 (English Standard Version)

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