Rev. Andrew Jagow, pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Alexandria, VA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study John 12:1-11.
Six days before the Passover, the day before Palm Sunday, Jesus is in Bethany, the town where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived. At a dinner in Bethany, Mary comes to Jesus and anoints Him with extremely extravagant perfume. Feigning piety, Judas protests the action out of a desire to help himself to more money. Jesus commends Mary’s action as having been done in preparation for His burial. As Jesus’ fame for raising Lazarus continues to spread, the chief priests plan to kill Lazarus as well, a reminder that those who follow Jesus are treated with scorn by the world.
“The Word Made Flesh” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. John. The disciple whom Jesus loved wrote his Gospel account as an eyewitness to Jesus’ life and ministry. As we read the Word of God recorded by St. John, the Holy Spirit works in us so that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and so have life by faith in His name.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
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Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany
12 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[a] 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[b] 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[c] for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
The Plot to Kill Lazarus
9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus[d] 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.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org