J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
An act of love as the end approaches
12 1-5 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, the village of Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. They gave a supper for him there, and Martha waited on the party while Lazarus took his place at table with Jesus. Then Mary took a whole pound of very expensive perfume and anointed Jesus’ feet and then wiped them with her hair. The entire house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot (the man who was going to betray Jesus), burst out, “Why on earth wasn’t this perfume sold? It’s worth thirty pounds, which could have been given to the poor!”
6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was dishonest, and when he was in charge of the purse used to help himself to the contents.
7-8 But Jesus replied to this outburst, “Let her alone, let her keep this for the day of my burial. You have the poor with you always—you will not always have me!”
9-11 The large crowd of Jews discovered that he was there and came to the scene—not only because of Jesus but to catch sight of Lazarus, the man whom he had raised from the dead. Then the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus as well, because he was the reason for many of the Jews’ going away and putting their faith in Jesus.
The day was the Saturday before Palm Sunday (See Jn 12:12-13). Jesus was having supper with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus had been dead for four days before his resurrection occurred. Jesus had a special relationship with this family. He loved them (Jn 11:5). He was moved with deep emotion over Lazarus’s death. (Jn 11:33). The grief that He saw in the people drove Him to tears (Jn 11:35). His deep emotional attachment for Lazarus was easily seen by the people (Jn 11:36). The emotional pain that Jesus felt stayed with Him (Jn 11:38) until He raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:43-44). The length of Lazarus’s death put in the minds of local people the fact that Lazarus was really dead, and Jesus really really raised from the dead.
The intimacy of a meal can not be denied. After all, do we want to dine with someone that we don’t like? Meals, such as this one, the Last Supper/The Passover Seder, and the various instances of believers “breaking bread,”all show an intimate bond that exists among people of kindred minds.
It was during the supper, at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, that a memorable act of intimacy occurred. Mary, the sister of Lazarus, who was a sinner in need of a Savior, kneeled at the feet of “The Savior.” Then, she annointed His feet with perfume, and wiped His feet with her hair. A similar event would occur during another evening meal. That would take place on the followingThursday, during the Passover Seder. It was there, that “The Savior” for all mankind, would kneel before sinful men, His disciples, men who also needed a Savior; and wash their feet, providing an example of humility that we all need to emulate.
In our churches, are we too embarrassed “to kneel before Jesus?” Are we too embarrassed “to bow before our King?” Are we too embarrassed, “to raise our hands in praise to our Lord and Savior, who was not “too embarrassed” to die on the cross to pay our sin debt?
Now, let’s go to our Lord and Savior in praise and worship.
In The Presence Of Jehovah
American Standard Version (ASV)
16 And the four and twenty elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces and worshipped God,
17 saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast; because thou hast taken thy great power, and didst reign.