108 Mary anoints Jesus with expensive perfume.

Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; John 11:55–57; 12:1–11

Why did the Pharisees need help finding Jesus so he could be arrested (John 11:55–57)?

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Why might Jesus have been in Simon the leper’s house instead of Lazarus’s house or Martha’s house (Mark 14:3; John 12:1)?

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Who was present at Simon’s house (John 12:1–3)?

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In Matthew and Mark, Mary anoints Jesus’ head (Matthew 26:7; Mark 14:3). In John, she anoints his feet (John 12:3). How might both be true?

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Who objected to the use of expensive perfume (Matthew 26:8; Mark 14:4; John 12:4–5)? Why did they object?

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Why does John, not Matthew or Mark, identify Judas as one who objected to wasting expensive perfume (John 12:4–6)?

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Why did Jesus commend Mary for what she did (Matthew 26:10–13)?

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When Jesus said he was being anointed for burial, what did the disciples think (Matthew 26:10–13)?

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What was the social impact of Jesus’ stay with Simon the leper (John 12:9)?

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If a death warrant was issued for Lazarus as well as Jesus, how much concern would the disciples have had for their own safety (John 12:10)?

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Why did the chief priests want to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus (John 12:10–11)?

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With the Jewish feast time approaching, many people from around the country went up to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves. Looking for Jesus, they stood in the Temple and said to one another, “Do you think he will show up or not?” The chief priests and Pharisees had given orders for anyone who saw Jesus to let them know. Then they could arrest him.

Eyewitness

John 11:55–57 With the Jewish feast time approaching, many people from around the country went up to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves. Looking for Jesus, they stood in the Temple and said to one another, “Do you think he will show up or not?” The chief priests and Pharisees had given orders for anyone who saw Jesus to let them know. Then they could arrest him.
King James

John 11:55–57 And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.

Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, the town where he had raised Lazarus from the dead. A dinner was prepared for him in the home of Simon the leper. Martha served and Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table.

Eyewitness

Matthew 26:6 At Bethany, Jesus was in the home of Simon the leper
Mark 14:3 At Bethany, Jesus was in the home of Simon the leper when a woman came with a jar made of fine gypsum filled with expensive perfume, broke the seal, and poured it on Jesus’ head as he sat at the table.
John 12:1–2 Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, the town where he had raised Lazarus from the dead. A dinner was prepared for him. Martha served and Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table.
King James

Matthew 26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
John 12:1–2 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.

Mary brought a jar made of fine gypsum filled with very expensive perfume, broke the seal, and poured it on Jesus’ head as he sat at the table. She anointed his feet and wiped them with her hair until the whole house was filled with the fragrance.

Eyewitness

Matthew 26:7 when a woman came with a jar made of fine gypsum filled with expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head as he sat at the table.
Mark 14:3 At Bethany, Jesus was in the home of Simon the leper when a woman came with a jar made of fine gypsum filled with expensive perfume, broke the seal, and poured it on Jesus’ head as he sat at the table.
John 12:3 Mary brought a jar of very expensive perfume. She anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair until the house was filled with the fragrance.
King James

Matthew 26:7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
John 12:3 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.

The disciples were upset when they saw what she had done. They rebuked her. “Why this waste?” they said among themselves. Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, the one who later betrayed Jesus, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief. He carried the moneybag and could take some for himself.

Eyewitness

Matthew 26:8–9 The disciples were upset when they saw what she had done. “Why this waste?” they said. “That perfume could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor.”
Mark 14:4–5 Some of the people were upset when they saw what she had done. “Why this waste?” they said among themselves. “That perfume could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and given to the poor.” They rebuked her.
John 12:4–6 Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, the one who later betrayed Jesus, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief. He carried the moneybag and could take some for himself.
King James

Matthew 26:8–9 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
Mark 14:4–5 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
John 12:4–6 Then saith 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.

Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Leave her alone. Why are you criticizing the woman for doing good for me? You will always have the poor with you, so you can help them whenever you want, but you will not always have me. In pouring the perfume, she has done what she could, anointing my body ahead of time for burial. I assure you, everywhere the good news is proclaimed throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and told.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 26:10–13 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you criticizing the woman for doing good for me? You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring the perfume, she has prepared my body for burial. I assure you, everywhere the good news is proclaimed throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and told.”
Mark 14:6–9 “Leave her alone,” Jesus said. “Why are you criticizing the woman for doing good for me? You will always have the poor with you, so you can help them whenever you want, but you will not always have me. She has done what she could, anointing my body ahead of time for burial. I assure you, everywhere the good news is proclaimed throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and told.”
John 12:7–8 “Leave her alone,” Jesus said. “She has prepared my body for burial. You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”
King James

Matthew 26:10–13 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
Mark 14:6–9 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
John 12:7–8 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

Word spread among the Jewish leaders that Jesus was there, and many came, not just to see Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. Therefore, the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus because he had swayed many Jews to believe.

Eyewitness

John 12:9–11 Word spread among the Jewish leaders that Jesus was there, and many came, not just to see Jesus, but also Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. Therefore, the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus because he had swayed many Jews to believe.
King James

John 12:9–11 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.