Monday, April 2
This passage, according to my research may have been written by “one” who was closest to Jesus or by “many” who were told as a verification that this occurred. In any case this passage is cited as a benchmark in the journey of Christ. I cannot presume that my opinion of this passage is “scholar like”. I can only comment on my perception.
Lazarus has risen from the dead. This is a time of celebration for everyone. Mary is overcome with gratitude and wants to show her appreciation. She wants Jesus to know how highly she regards him. We learn from the passage that she has been saving this expensive ointment for his death, but she feels compelled to share it with him now. She uses it to anoint his feet. This is a sacred use of the expensive oil.
Judas is identified as a thief and the betrayer of Christ. His motive is made painfully clear in this passage. He was not impressed by the miracle they were celebrating, but only by the money that could have been placed in his keeping. He questions the decision for Mary’s use of the expensive oil. This passage speaks to character and there is no question as to its meaning. Jesus admonishes Judas. He tells Judas that there will always be poor, but that Jesus will not always be around. He seems to be setting us up for what will come next in the journey.
The last two lines of the passage speak to the miracle of Lazarus. The priests are afraid of the influence Jesus is having by the miracle he has performed. They want to kill Lazarus in hopes of killing Jesus’ influence. Looking back, this is never a sound idea. This speaks to the seriousness of Jesus’ influence and the fear that he is inspiring.
-Submitted by Patty Renfrow
If we understand that the ministry we undertake is done so that we continue to make followers of Jesus Christ – and the mission we undertake is done so that we continue to serve the least, the last and the lost, how do you resolve the conflict in resource allocation between “buying a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard [to] anoint Jesus’ feet” and selling the perfume “for three hundred denarii and [giving] the money to the poor?”