We continue through the Word examining the last days of Jesus...on the earth...during the “Passion” week...well, you understand.
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Nisan 10th, the fifth day before Passover
Our Friday sunset to Saturday sunset
This was the weekly Sabbath.
As one would expect, the Lord “did” little this day.
1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
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.
4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, 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 bag, and bare what was put therein.
7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
9 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.
10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
- The Lord passes the Sabbath at Bethany
- After sunset, likely the sunset after the Sabbath - our Saturday, the first of three suppers was made, probably at the house of Lazarus, Bethany.
- At the supper the first of two anointings took place.
Mary gave from her heart.
She gave much from a material sense.
The anointing of Jesus’ feet, the wiping with her hair, the house filled with the odor of the ointment, paint a picture of intimate repentance before the Lord.
Of course, the “religious mindset” rises up.
Judas Iscariot - Simon’s son - one described as “betrayer”, “carer not for the poor” and “thief”, protested.
Would not the value of the ointment be better used for the poor?
Judas did not care. Note how he gave an immediate appraisal of the value of the “wasted” ointment. He did care about the money - he “had the bag, and bare what was put therein” - the disciples treasurer. He wanted the money.
We hear the same today within political discourse.
Everything is done “for the children.”
The reality is that Judas did not care for the poor.
The reality is that Judas was a thief.
The reality is that Judas is a betrayer.
The amazing, mysterious reality is that Jesus knew all this about Judas, and loved him.
Jesus calmly (at least in my reading ) tells Judas to leave her alone, then, explains what just happened.
Mary had done this “against the day of my burying…”
The NASB translates “so that she may keep it for the day of My burial.”
Jesus is telling them that his death is upcoming...soon.
He is telling them that this is part of the preparation.
Then, the Lord says this…
For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
Many have attempted to color Jesus as cold and callous in this statement.
This is simply as statement of fact of His impending departure.
There is a time for everything.
A large crowd of Jews gathered, hearing that Jesus was there and Lazarus.
Lazarus was a major attraction - the man raised from the dead.
The chief priests were incensed - as “religious” leadership always is when the power and attention is moving away from them.
Many of the Jews were deserting them and believing Jesus.
They decided to kill Lazarus.
There is something strangely, sadly humorous here.
They were angry because folk wanted to see someone who had been raised from the dead. They were angry because many Jews were believing Jesus. The chief priests response? - “Let’s kill him”.
Yep. That will prove that you are more powerful. You can kill.
But, what do you do with someone who can bring them back to life?