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.”
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.
Personal Reflection and Discussion
Reflect on a recent wonderful dinner conversation. What made it wonderful?
- On the light side: Speculate and imagine the dinner conversation with Lazarus there. Does Lazarus bring any greetings from loved ones long departed? Does he have a greeting for Jesus from His Dad?
- Now getting serious: This is the second time we read in the Gospels where Jesus has His feet washed by a woman. The first is found in Luke 7:36-50. What do you think motivated the women in each account? What was the response from others who witnessed it?
- What implications do vs 7-8 have for us today?
- What parallels can you draw between verses 10 and 11 and things happening and going on in our world today?
- How does fragrant offering explain that those around Jesus at the time of this anointing were also impacted? How are you impacted by being a bystander of God blessing another?
God, your definition of value is not in things but in people, for you saw much value in a woman using her fragrances to serve as high praise and not waste. God, thanks for making me and continually considering me valuable. Allow me to offer my life as a living sacrifice to you. Allow me to walk in love, as YOU loved us and gave yourself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Greek Word of the Day
English Word: Anointed | Transliterated Word: aleipho (al-i-fo)
To rub, to cover over, besmear. In the NT, to anoint. The Jews were accustomed not only to anoint the head at their feast in token of joy but also both the head and the feet of those whom they wished to distinguish by special honor. In John: the case of sick persons and also of the dead, they anointed the whole body
Family Engagement Activity
Consider buying something that smells sweet today for those in your family or for your family to give to another whom you value. It might be a candle, flowers, or cologne or perfume. Explain to them that the candle, flowers, or cologne will not only benefit the directly blessed but those who make contact with the blessing in the near future just by the smell. If your kids are not at the self-bathing stage (as it might be awkward for you to talk to a teenager about the time you cleaned them), consider talking to them about how Jesus cleansed us and made us into fragrant offerings.
Ask your kids about your favorite smells and encourage them to consider how Jesus is a fragrant offering. Invite them to consider how an act of Jesus’ love can be enjoyed by those not necessarily directly impacted but just by being bystanders of blessing.
Bless someone in front of others, not to be “showy” but so they, too, may be blessed just by being in the presence of a blessing. Be creative!
Going Activities To Consider
Consider buying something that smells sweet today for those in your family or for your family to give to another whom you value. It might be a candle, flowers, or cologne or perfume. OR Bless someone in front of others, not to be “showy” but so they, too, may be blessed just by being in the presence of a blessing. Be creative!