John 12:1-11 – The Anointing at Bethany

Jesus stays with Lazarus and his family at Bethany prior to the Passover. During a meal given in his honor, Mary anointed Jesus with an expensive perfume (verses 1-8). This is a rare story in John since the episode also appears in in Matt 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9, and perhaps Luke 7:39-50.  This is an opportunity to study John’s use of his sources since it would appear that this was a well-known story by the time he wrote his Gospel.

Mary anointing Jesus's feetThere are a few differences between John and the Synoptic Gospels. In Matthew and Mark we are told that the anointing took place at the home of Simon the Leper and the woman is unidentified (see this post on the story as it appears in Mark). In Mark she anoints Jesus’ head, while in John she anoints his feet and wipes them with her hair. In John she wipes his feet with her hair, as did the woman in Luke 7.

How is this related to a similar incident in Luke 7:39-50? All three synoptic gospels agree a woman came to Jesus with an alabaster jar of myrrh (ἀλάβαστρον μύρου). But other than the perfume used to anoint Jesus, there is little in Luke which is the same as the even described in John 12.First, The name Simon appears in Luke and Mark/Matt, but the name Simon was extremely common in the first century. In fact, two of Jesus’s disciples are named Simon! There is nothing which requires Simon the Leper of Mark 14:3 to be Simon the Pharisee of Luke 7:40. Second, Luke omits the location (Bethany), but the story is placed before the travel narrative (beginning in Luke 9:51). This implies that the meal hosted by Simon is in Galilee, not Bethany (near Jerusalem). Third, the woman in Luke is described as having a bad reputation, there is nothing in the Synoptic Gospels or John that imply Mary, the sister of Lazarus had a negative reputation. Finally, Luke also omits the words of Jesus praising the woman for her actions, saying that her deed will be repeated wherever the gospel is preached. Instead, Jesus responds to Simon’s critical thoughts with a short parable and pronounces the woman’s sins forgiven.

It is possible John has combined two events (Luke 7 and Matthew 26 / Mark14), or it is possible Luke has move the event to an earlier point in Jesus’s ministry. It seems to me, however, what Luke records is a different event in the life of Jesus. A notorious sinner encounters Jesus and receives forgiveness and acceptance and responds with lavish worship at Jesus’s feet. John (Mark and Matthew) record an event just prior to the Passion week in which Mary honors her teacher with a lavish gift which foreshadows his death and burial. The obvious objection is the oddity of a woman anointing Jesus twice during his life.

John has repeated key elements of the story verbatim (the words of Jesus), yet added a few details which were omitted in Mark and Matthew. For example, the name of the woman (Mary) and the disciple who objected to the expensive display of affection (Judas). John has re-told the story to highlight the difference between Mary’s devotion to Jesus and Judas’s misunderstanding of Jesus.

24 thoughts on “John 12:1-11 – The Anointing at Bethany

  1. I believe it is possible that these two events could have been combined, but I also believe that it could have been possible, no matter how rare it is, that there could have been two instances where two women anointed Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God, so why would it be weird for multiple people to want to anoint him and bow at his feet? As for Mary, Luke puts a negative aspect on her life, but he has to remember that we are all sinners. Mary was a devoted lady, as explained by Kostenberger, “in her devotion to Jesus, she may break etiquette and defy common sense, but as Jesus points out, by doing so she anoints Jesus for the day of his burial,” (Kostenberger, 118). In this passage, she demonstrates this by using her hair to wipe his feet, and I believe disapproves Luke’s theory that she is a negative person because she has seem to be devoted to Jesus. This can be seen also earlier when we start to see Mary. It is curious as to why look portrays this because in another part of his story he says that, “she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the LORD’s feet listening to what he said,” (Luke 10:39, NIV). From the beginning, according to this verse, Mary has been listening to Jesus and devoting her time and thoughts to him because as the verse goes on, Jesus says Mary was doing the right thing. So overall, Mary has devoted her life to Jesus and she portrays this throughout the Gospels.

  2. This is an amazing story and the implications are even more increadable. This happens just before Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem where he rides down the mount of Olives and up into the city of Jerusalem. The thing about the anointing, is that this is something that would have normally happned to kings and royalty. Kings would have been anointed with this special perfume and fragrence and would have always walked around with the aroma of royalty. This smell would have likley stayed on Jesus’s body for days. He would have rode into Jerusalem smelling of Royalty and quite possibly been doing his ministry durring his last days smeeling like a king. People would hace noticed that. It might have even been possible that Jesus still had an aroma of royalty even while hanging on a cross. The fact that this has happened at least twice in Jesus’s lifetime is not suprising considering he is the King of Kings. He is the anointed one, the Messiah!

  3. I’ve never thought about the possibility that the story of Jesus getting anointed by the woman could have been two separate events. The details are different enough that it is very plausible that they were indeed two different women. The action of anointing with perfume is so unique that to have it happen to Jesus twice, let alone once, would really be saying something about who Jesus is. It could be that John did combine stories to make one, but even then, there are facts that don’t line up completely. Either way, these women or woman has shown faith in who Jesus is and has anointed him with expensive perfume. Kostenberger points out that the passage in John reflects on the faith that Mary (who is the woman in this passage) has compared to the cunning mind of Judas who would betray Jesus. This anointing of perfume was seen as a step closer to Jesus’s death and burial which Judas would later put into effect. The identity of the woman doesn’t seem to be a big deal, but rather the heart behind her actions. There is a devotion which she shows clearly through the anointing while those who are supposed to be known as Jesus’ followers are the ones rebuking the honorary action toward their Lord.

  4. Judas really showed his colors when he was upset with Mary for anointing Jesus with expensive perfume. Judas was so filled with greed that all he could think about was the money. He was upset with Mary for using such expensive perfume on the savior of the world. And do you know why? Because he wanted to get the money for himself. All he could think about is the money and not the fact that he was there with the savior of the world who was going to die for him. Mary’s heart was so pure and true she loved Jesus so much that she did the only thing she knew how to do love deeply from the heart and she anointed him. She did not care about the money or what people thought she only cared about Jesus and her love for him. That is how our love should be for Jesus unhindered and not caring what other people think but only about our love for Christ.

  5. We can argue about where the story took place and when or we can focus on what the point of the story is. A woman brings to Jesus a bottle of perfume that is worth the amount of a years wages. That’s one expensive bottle of perfume! the point of the story is that what she did was not only clearly expensive but somewhat unusual. Usually cleaning the feet of a guest was done by a slave/servant. when she did the act of wiping Jesus’s feet she humbled herself to the position and status of a humble servant. What else is unusual is that she used her hair to wipe Jesus’ feet. Because in Jewish culture women wouldn’t have undid their hair in public places, let alone wipe the feet of someone else with their hair. The perfume was meant to foreshadow the death of Jesus because that specific perfume was used during burials.

  6. I definitely don’t think this was not the same event that occurred in John 12 due to the backdrop of the situation in Luke 7. Even though similar actions and characteristics were mentioned in both events, the content behind the woman’s background did not match. First, the woman in Luke was recognized as a sinner whom Jesus accepted and forgave according to your post. On the other hand, Mary was devoted to Jesus because He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead. The backdrop of Luke’s narrative leaves many unanswered questions regarding the woman and the language in his narrative. Although the backdrop of Luke’s story is different from Johns, the actions that transpired in both gospel have some similarities. As described in Luke’s event, the woman poured perfume on his feet and wiped his feet with her hair just as in John 12. Kostenberger states only Mark and John tell us the value of this perfume, which was equivalent to a year of wages valued at 300 denari (Kostenberger, 134). Given that both Mark and John’s narrative tells us the value of the perform, this feature is what draws some conclusion for this to be the same event. Although the significance of the perfume is in both narratives, I still think the backdrop between both women is entirely different for this to be considered the same event in John 12 and Luke 7.

  7. After looking at the example in Luke 7, we can clearly see that these are two separate events, although very similar in story. I’d like to believe that these are twp separate stories, with two separate women. Luke describes this woman as a sinner, someone who Jesus had to forgive. This directly contrasts what John describes Mary as. This too me just depicts a second situation in which another woman came and anointed Jesus. Although I’d like to believe that Jesus could assume mary to be this sinner who needs forgiveness, yet we see no theme of that happening in John. mary brought an exspensive bottle of perfume, gave it to the Lord, which speaks volumes as to what she thinks of Jesus. These are two different stories, and each has it’s very important aspects of character.

  8. Both possibilities, that Jesus was anointed twice at different times in his ministry or that His anointing only happened once, are both plausible, and in my opinion, the first one is particularly attractive. As discussed in class, when something is repeated in the Bible, it highlights the importance of it. Perhaps John, as he would have already known about the story from the Synoptic Gospels, decided to synthesize them into one cohesive story to draw attention to the importance of it. The event itself is indicative of the death of Jesus, and of course at this point in His Gospel he is trying to make the reader aware of it. Thus, it is feasible to suppose that he used the Synoptic Gospels as his resource to cite the story, but nevertheless added some details that are essential to the Passion story. He wanted his readers to know that His death was immanent. Within the story itself, I think the dichotomy between Mary and Judas is fascinating. Kostenberger, in his review of this portion of Scripture, claims that John made these details obvious to the reader to define two different responses to Jesus. The great question that John is posing throughout his Gospel is: What will you do with Jesus? And, thus, all of his writings relate back to this thesis, and the present story being discussed is no exception. Judas, closely associated with Jesus and trusted by Him, chooses to rebel in His heart and turn away; Mary, on the other hand, marginalized in society is devoted to Jesus and proves this by her lavish gift. In other words, no matter who you are, you may have the correct response to Jesus. There are no prerequisites to understanding who Jesus is–no prior conditions or particular requirements. Jesus welcomes everyone.

  9. This story is one that is told quite often, at least in my childhood it was. I believe that it is often seen as a loving act that Mary washed Jesus’s feet with perfume. However, while this story touches on that, it may have been another reason why Mary did this. Anointing Jesus was sort of like worshipping him. I cannot remember if Mary had known that Jesus was the Messiah at this point, I am assuming she would have considering she had just witnessed him raise her brother, Lazarus, from the dead. Was Mary influenced by God to anoint Jesus unknowingly in preparation for his death and burial? In reference to this event taking place in other Gospels, I agree that the event here in John 12 and the event in Luke 7 could be completely different events. In Luke, the woman is not named, and the event takes place almost immediately as Jesus enters the home and the home mentioned belongs to Simon. In John, based on what John wrote, the event takes place once food had been served, so likely Jesus’s feet had already been washed considering feet were typically cleansed prior to their meal because of the close proximity to their meals. The home mentioned in John also belongs to Lazarus, not Simon. Because of how the stories are written, I find that the anointing of Jesus’s feet in John 12 and Luke 7 are separate events.

  10. After reading this blog, and then looking back on both the stories in John and in Luke I can see where things can be super confusing when looking at them as the same event. It isn’t a great defense to say they are different because of the story or plot line itself because as we know the Synoptics are not completely in line with John; but it’s much rather the details in each story that points to my belief that they are two separate events. For example Luke describes the women as a sinner, someone whom Jesus is forgiving as she comes to Him in guilt and sorrow. This without a doubt, couldn’t be Mary due to the fact that she is not described in this way in John. Now everyone is a sinner and I’m not saying Mary wasn’t but this isn’t the theme of John, and forgiving wasn’t the moral of this story presented in this specific Gospel. She has a very expensive bottle perfume and gives it to the Lord, which goes to show how much appreciation she has for Him. Now though these stories are similar, but so very different I think it is all in the detail needless to say.

  11. John uniquely describes the story of Mary anointing Jesus in John 12. He tells this story in a way that is different than all the other Synoptics. John includes more detail, such as what the woman’s name was (Mary) and what disciple became so upset (Judas). Both Matthew and Mark tell similar stories but do not disclose the kind of information that John does. This could be intentional since the specific goal for John in this story is to “highlight the difference between Mary’s devotion to Jesus and Judas’s misunderstanding of Jesus” according to Long (2012, para. 5). Köstenberger (2013) points out another reason as to why John provides more details, especially about Judas, saying John wanted to “set the stage for Judas’s imminent betrayal of Jesus” (p. 119).On the other hand, Luke writes a story in his gospel that has similarities but not enough to assume the event is the same one John discusses. Some may debate they are the same event and claim “Luke moved the event to an earlier point in Jesus’s ministry” (Long, para. 4), but this kind of claim cannot be supported by any biblical evidence. The idea that certain events or stories have been “moved around” reminds me of the similar debate over John 2 and Jesus clearing the Temple. Ultimately the authors placed the stories where they did for a reason, and we should read them according to the author’s timeline and the details they provide. We can speculate and make arguments regarding individual events and their historical timeline accuracy, but each God-inspired Gospel aims to reveal something much more significant and worthy of our focus: who Jesus was and what He did.

  12. This story of a woman anointing Jesus became more intriguing to me as I read about the different accounts of this story. In John’s gospel, the woman is identified as Mary, Lazarus’ sister, and he specifies that she rubbed her hair on Jesus’ feet. John wrote differently than the Synoptic Gospels, and even this story of a woman anointing Jesus’ feet is different amongst the Gospels. This encounter between Jesus and Mary seems very significant. The account explains the setting as Jesus having a meal in Bethany, with His friends (John 12:1-3, ESV). This intimate moment between Jesus and His friends is countered by Judas, who questions the use of such expensive perfume (verse 4). In the context, Judas is definitely concerned about the money and not the intention or ministry of the action being taken by Mary. Jesus then told Judas to leave Mary alone, and communicated to him the limited time that they had with Jesus. Jesus knew of the intentions of Judas, but it was important that the action taken was acknowledged and admired. Mary placed herself physically below Jesus, demonstrating respect. When Mary anointed Jesus’ feet, she demonstrated service. As Mary used expensive perfume, she demonstrated sacrifice and the surrendering of earthly things (perfume and money). While this is not explicitly explained in John’s gospel, it is communicated even in this blog post that John re-told a story that primarily demonstrated how devoted Mary was to Jesus (as well as Judas’ flesh-centered response).

  13. Although there seem to be several point of views of the narrative including: where and when the narrative took place; as well as, whether or not there were two instances of the same event having occurred. Instead, the main focus should be on the importance and purpose of the narrative. The narrative is just one of several instances in which foreshadows the death of Jesus Christ; specifically Jesus’ burial. After Mary pours out the perfume onto Jesus’ feet due, Judas condemns Mary by saying “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people (John 12:5)? Judas’s response was not because of his concern for the poor, but out of selfish ambition to steal what was given to those in need for himself. In defense of Mary Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me (“John 12:7-8).” Later, this foreshadow would be fulfilled when Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea who would prepare a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. and would wrap Jesus’ body in linen with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews (John 19:39-40).
    In addition to the importance and purpose of the narrative, there are also several interesting facts about the anointing at Bethany. The first obvious fact being that, the perfume was highly valuable. This fact is made known because of Judas’s response to Mary having poured the perfume on Jesus’ feet. The perfume was said to made of pure nard, extracted from a rare plant and therefore it was valued at three hundred denarii or a years worth of wages (Kostenberger, 118). The second fact was that Mary’s actions when pouring the perfume on Jesus’ feet were unusual. Typically, when applying oil to a person the oil was poured onto the head, but Mary had applied the perfume to Jesus’ head (Kostenberger, 118). Then, when Mary wiped Jesus’s feet she used her hair and not a towel. Interestingly, this action was deemed inappropriate because it was considered improper for a woman to unbind her hair in public (Kostenberger, 119).

  14. In John 12 Jesus stays with Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. Mary anoints Jesus with an expensive perfume. This is one of the rare occasions that the Gospel of John records one of the same stories as the synoptic gospels. This allows us to look at John’s sources considering that the synoptic gospels had already recorded the story and was most likely a well-known story at the point and time that John wrote his gospel. However, there are a few differences between John’s gospel and the synoptic gospels. Matthew and Mark set the story at Simon the Leper’s house and the woman who anoints Jesus with oil is unnamed. Mark’s recording of the story also says that the woman anointed Jesus’ head. In John the woman, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet and wipes them with her hair as well as the woman in Luke 7. The story in Luke 7 is similar to the one recorded in John 12 because of the expensive perfume that is used to anoint Jesus. There is also implication that the story recorded in Luke 7 takes place in Galilee, not Bethany. The woman in Luke is also known for her bad reputation. None of the other gospels including John imply that Mary has a bad reputation. It is suggested that John may have combined two events into one story (Luke 7, and Matthew 26/Mark 14) or that Luke moved the event to an earlier spot in Jesus’ ministry in his gospel. It is more likely that Luke actually records a different story than the other gospels. “A notorious sinner encounters Jesus and receives forgiveness and acceptance and responds with lavish worship at Jesus’ feet. John (Mark and Matthew) record an event just prior to the Passion week in which Mary honors her teacher with a lavish gift which foreshadows His death and burial” (Long). However, John also has a couple of differences from the synoptic gospels that record the same story (Mark and Matthew). The woman who anoints Jesus is named, Mary. The disciple who objected to the action was also named, Judas (Long).

  15. Reading the verses about the women anointing the feet of Jesus and the other women that also washed Jesus feet are interesting. I believe that these two events may have happened at different times. One cleans Jesus feet with her tears and the other cleaned Jesus feet with some very expensive perfume. They both wiped Jesus feet with their hair. I don’t think that John forgot about this event of the women washing Jesus feet with her tears. I agree with the blog post that maybe Luke moved this event in the earlier part of the ministry. I also find it very interesting that Judas is so concerned about Jesus feet being washed by expensive perfume. While reading that it could’ve been perceived as Judas being jealous about the expensive perfume or that his feet was not washed of the expensive perfume. It is known that Judas is a money thief and he does indeed have a problem with greed and being greedy for money. Which we see down the line that he was so greedy that he sold Jesus over and betrayed Jesus. In life people have encountered other people being jealous, and greedy. Judas needed someone to encourage him to improve on his problem with being a money thief and being greedy. I believe that if he had someone to encourage him to improve, the story would be different. In life it could be good to encourage the next person that may be struggling with greed or jealousy.

  16. I find it interesting that there are a few differences between the stories of John 12:1-9 and Mark 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9. Prior to reading this blog post, I’d never thought about the possibility that these stories could have occurred on two separate occasions. One difference is that in the story in Matthew and Mark, it is said that the anointing “took place at the home of Simon the Leper and the woman was unidentified” (Long, 2012, par. 2). On the other hand, in the Gospel of John, the woman is identified as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. Another difference is that in Mark, the woman anoints Jesus’s head, whereas in John she wipes his feet with her hair. While there are differences, there are some similarities in these stories (and also the story in Luke 7), such as they all involved a jar of myrrh to anoint Jesus.
    Regardless of whether or not it was repeated on two occasions, the story of Jesus’s anointing at Bethany has significance as it relates to the events of Jesus’s life. First, Mary’s anointing of Jesus anticipates the triumphal entry as well as the burial of Jesus, because myrrh was a perfume that was used at burials (Long, 112). In addition, as discussed in class, Mary’s service to Jesus foreshadowed Jesus’s act of humility in John 13. Just as Mary wiped Jesus’s feet with her hair, Jesus will also humble himself to serve his disciples by washing their feet. From these stories we can learn from their examples to lead others to Christ by humbling ourselves and serving those around us.

  17. Having someone anoint you once in your life seems odd but having two different people anoint you is very strange. Obviously, we were not alive during the time of Jesus, so it would be impossible for us to know if the first anointing of Jesus is related, or even the same event as the second anointing of Jesus recorded in John. There are many similarities in the stories, but there are also just as many differences, that can be pointed out with a little analysis. The biggest detail that makes it seem like these events could either be related, or even the same event is the perfume that the woman had used. In both stories it says that used a certain type of perfume. With that as a reason as to why it could be the same, there are also many things that make it so that people may think that the events happened at different times. As mentioned in the post, one of the women was known for having a bad reputation, and Mary didn’t seem to have this type of reputation, at least from what we see in the gospels. No matter how much “evidence” is discovered, or understood about these passages, it seems that for now, we won’t have a clear answer to whether these are the same events and that is okay. It’s a detail that isn’t super doesn’t seem to be super important, especially to our faith. Regardless, it is important to remember that everything in the Bible is there on purpose, and it all serves a purpose.

  18. When it comes to what the author John included in his Gospel, and what he didn’t include, I find the differences between John and the synoptic gospels to be profound. And as we’ve gone even further into this course, I’ve found these inclusions and exclusions to be super significant. The anointing at Bethany here in John 12 is no exception. I think the differences in contexts and sequences of these anointing events are worthy to be brought up and discussed, however, I don’t think they are two different events, and moreover, I think the specificity of what’s included in John’s account of this event is super important information as it gives a new insight into a profound moment in Jesus’ life. I really like how Jesus’ feet are not only anointed with perfume, but Mary goes as far as to use her hair to wash His feet. There’s just nothing else like this moment in scripture. And I find that some of us can sometimes be like Judas, jumping at the chance to be critical, cynical, and skeptical. When we choose to be like Judas in this passage, we miss out on this beautiful moment of just what a noble, humbling, and heartfelt admiration of Jesus look like. There is so much we learn from Mary’s actions here, and we can learn to not be like Judas and we can instead learn from Mary’s example.

  19. It is good to hear the correct context of this passage. I feel like prior to reading this I didn’t know the exact details of what happened. I thought that all that happened was that Mary washed Jesus’ feet and then dried them with her hair. As I learned from today’s lecture, Mary anointed Jesus’ feet and used her hair to dry them. I feel that it doesn’t surprise me that there are differences between John and the synoptic gospels. It interests me what Mary used to anoint Jesus’ feet. From the notes it says that the “oil is derived from the aromatic spikenard plant” it also mentioned that this oil is “pure” and “very costly” (long) lastly, it is interesting to me how this passage relates to Luke 7 with wiping his feet and drying his feet with her hair.

  20. The anointing of Jesus’ feet in John 12:1-9 may not be a unique event, despite being seemingly one story shared in each gospel. There are a few differences other than the issue of timing between Luke and the other gospels as Luke tells this story earlier in the life of Jesus (Long, 2021). There is also a difference in the timing between Matthew and Mark’s account when compared to John’s as while both take place in Bethany, Mark and Matthew record this event as being two days before Passover and John records it as being six days before (Mark 14, Matthew 26). Some additional differences are the differences in the methods of anointing that are rather substantial. In Mark and Mathew Jesus is anointed by an unnamed woman who pours the fragrance on the head of Jesus, in John the fragrance is poured on Jesus’ feet and then dried with hair by Mary the sister of Lazarus, and in Luke the woman is a known sinner (though unnamed) who anoints Jesus’ feet with oil and her tears and and then dries the oil with her hair. There is also the matter of location as Luke’s version of the story takes place in a Pharisee’s house, Mark and Matthew’s version takes place in the house of Simon the leper in Bethany, and John’s version also happens in Bethany, but in the house of Lazarus. So while Matthew and Mark’s versions are similar enough to likely be the same event there are enough deviations in the narratives in the other accounts to open up the possibility of them being separate events all together. This leads to the possibility of Jesus being anointed as many as three times.

  21. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he resides with Lazarus and his family just prior to the Passover, a great feast is held there in Jesus’ honor. Mary the sister of Lazarus shows her gratitude and devotion by kneeling at the feet of Jesus and anointing him with the expensive oil, then in an ask of humility wipes his oil covered feet with her hair. The oil itself though a smaller bottle was full strength and was typically used in burial rituals, she was fulfilling part of the ritual while Jesus was still alive. When Judas sees that she is in his eyes wasting the oil, he claims that it could have been sold for a large sum of money and given to the poor as an offering during Passover. The implications in John show that Judas oversaw the moneybag and was taking money from it. The argument of who the woman is if it is not Mary is a difficult one. There does not seem to be any other females mentioned in the Gospels that would constitute such an act of servitude. The fact that Jesus had just saved her brother from death, Mary was extremely grateful and would willing do anything that was requested of her in humble servitude.

  22. This is a story that has fascinated me for quite some time. I think that it is really cool that Mary would do this for Jesus. It is however interesting that similar stories to this can be found within all of the other Gospels. They all have some similarities, but also some differences, which makes it hard to determine if any of them are the same or not. My initial thought is that they are indeed different. However, one of the main problems that I have with that idea is that Jesus says some of the same words. This makes me wonder if they John added these words to this story, if John used the same story from another Gospel, it is a different event from the other Gospels, or something else. It definitely requires looking at all of the other stories and studying the backgrounds of them to try and figure out if any are the same or not. It would feel strange to me if my feet were washed many different times, but maybe it was not as strange at that time. Regardless, I think that we can learn a lot from these events and they are very interesting to read.

  23. The anointing at Bethany was certainly an interesting story in which it can be quite strange to hear it for the first time in the modern times. I do wonder why in all the four Gospels they tell the story slightly differently? Especially in Mark where she anoints Jesus’ head and in Matthew/Mark it took place at Simon the Leper’s house (Long, p110). Nevertheless, Mary’s anointing Jesus has spread just like He had said (Mark 14:9; Matthew 26:13). There are some main points to be taken out of the story no matter how slightly different the Gospels have told it. Those points are: the value of the perfume, pouring the perfume on the feet instead of the head as anointing normally goes as well as using her untied hair to wipe it; lastly, John taking five full verses on Judas’s taking offense as opposed to one verse in Luke (Köstenberger, p134-135). Why the value of the perfume was made such a big deal was because it was made from a rare plant that made it cost three hundred denarii, making that cost around a year’s wage (Köstenberger, p134). It looks like though that only Judas made a big deal out of it as he was more concerned money wise and that he has been stealing from the money he is in charge of(John 12:4-6).

  24. It seems odd that the accounts do not seem to line up perfectly but why would they though. Each account is told from a different person. No one remembers an event the exact same, certain things will stick out to one person and not to the other. So, I personally believe this to not be a big deal. But it is important to investigate and understand the Bible and each passage. putting aside the skeptical questions this story is honestly a favorite of mine. She humbles herself and washed the feet of Jesus which was a huge act of confidence. She publicly displayed her faith in Christ here and I hope to live boldly and confidently in my walk with God. Although, this story is riddled with confusion and questions it is important to remember that we should be striving to live like a servant to God and being willing to get on our knees to wash God’s feet.

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