God’s Renewing Word of Hope
John 12:1-11: Mary anoints Jesus with expensive perfume for which Judas criticizes her. Jesus affirms Mary’s action and rejects Judas’s interpretation. The reading concludes with the religious leaders making plans to kill Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from death.
Jesus Is Anointed at Bethany
(Matthew 26.6-13; Mark 14.3-9)
1Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, the man he had raised from death. 2They prepared a dinner for him there, which Martha helped serve; Lazarus was one of those who were sitting at the table with Jesus. 3 Then Mary took a whole pint of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard, poured it on Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house. 4One of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot—the one who was going to betray him—said, 5“Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” 6He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would help himself from it.
7But Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Let her keep what she has for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me.”
The Plot against Lazarus
9A large number of people heard that Jesus was in Bethany, so they went there, not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from death. 10So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus too, 11because on his account many Jews were rejecting them and believing in Jesus.
Today’s Key Verse: John 12:8
[Jesus said:] “You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me.”
The reference to Mary anointing Jesus was noted earlier by the Gospel writer in John 11:2 (see the reading from April 6). What are your thoughts regarding Mary’s action (verse 3)? Regarding Judas’s words (verse 5)? Regarding Jesus’s response (verse7)? Why were the religious leaders making plans to kill Lazarus?
Lord Jesus, like Mary I seek to serve you with devotion and love. Empower me to serve in ways that advance your kingdom and bring glory to you. Amen.
John 12:12-36a: Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph.