The Day Before Palm Sunday – John 12:1-11

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You Are Worthy – Prestonwood Choir & Orchestra

Lesson Video

Jesus anointed at Bethany (John 12:1:8)

Lesson Series: Passover

The Day Before Palm Sunday – John 12:1-11

Text

John 12:1-11

The Anointing at Bethany

1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii 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 money-box; and he used to take what was put in it.
7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

Considerations

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 anointed 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 following Thursday, 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?

Notes

The following study notes come from the MacArthur Study Bible, and are provided by Biblgateway.com

John 12

12:1–50 This chapter focuses on the reactions of love and hate, belief and rejection toward Christ, leading to the cross.
12:1 six days before the Passover. This most likely was the previous Saturday with Passover coming 6 days later on Thursday evening through sunset Friday. See Introduction: Interpretive Challenges.
12:3 a pound of very costly oil of spikenard. The term used for “pound” actually indicates a weight around three-fourths of a pound (approximately 12 ounces). “Spikenard” was an oil extracted from the root of a plant grown in India. anointed the feet of Jesus. Since those who were eating reclined at the table, their feet extended away from it making it possible for Mary to anoint the feet of Jesus. The act symbolized Mary’s humble devotion and love for Him.
12:5 three hundred denarii. Since one denarius was a day’s wage given to common laborers, 300 was equivalent to a year’s wages (no money was earned on the Sabbath or other holy days).
12:6 a thief. Judas’ altruism was really a front for his own personal avarice. Because he was the apostolic band’s treasurer, he was able to secretly pilfer the group treasury for his own desires.
12:7 kept this for the day of My burial. Mary performed this act to signal her devotion but, as in the case of Caiaphas (11:49–52), her act revealed more than she realized at the time. During the first century, lavish sums were spent on funerals, which included costly perfumes to cover the smell of decay (see note on 11:39).
12:8 This does not mean that alms should not be distributed to the poor (Deut. 15:11) but was a reminder that, while the poor would remain, Jesus would not always be with them. See Matt. 26:11; Mark 14:7.
12:11 went away and believed. This phrase signaled both a conscious, deliberate move away from the religion of the authorities and a move toward genuine faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.

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The scripture text was taken from Biblegateway.com

The translation of the text is from The New King James Version.

Unless otherwise noted, scripture notes were taken from The MacArthur Study Bible notes that are contained in Biblegateway.com

Everyone should own a MacArthur Study Bible.

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