1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
Put it in your own words. Read the passage or verse slowly, then rewrite each phrase or sentence using your own words.
The contrast between Mary and Judas could not be bolder. Mary reclines at Jesus’ feet in adoring love, offering extravagant devotion—anointing him for his burial. Judas sits in condescending arrogance, not only questioning Mary’s action but judging Jesus’ willing acceptance of such a gift. One is a worshiper; one is a thief. One gives sacrificial honor; the other seeks personal gain (Matt. 26:15). One demonstrates the way of grace; the other, the way of sin.
This story should remind us of a similar scene recorded in Luke’s Gospel, where an unnamed sinful woman washes Jesus’ feet with her tears, while Simon, a self-righteous Pharisee, “murders” Jesus in his heart (Luke 7:36–50). Those who have been forgiven much love much. Those who are greedy for much are greedy for more. (1)
- What stood out?
- The heart of God is to love and help those that cannot help themselves, why is it different here?
- What was Jesus referring to when He said, For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me?
For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
End in Prayer