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|This is the New King James text of the passages.|
Matthew 21:1-11; Matthew 26:6-13; Listen
Mark 11:1-10; Mark 14:3-9;
Luke 19:29-40; John 12:1-19
In this passage, we see the following in Jesus' ministry:
Supper at a leper's house (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-11)
|6 ¶ And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,
7 a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.
8 But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?
9 For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”
10 ¶ But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.
11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.
12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.
13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
|3 ¶ And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.
4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted?
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
6 ¶ But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.
7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.
8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.
9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
|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.”
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.
It is interesting to note here that John's gospel specifically identifies this event to have taken place six days before the passover. Matthew and Mark do not specifically address the exact time of this Bethany experience. Though similar in circumstances, this event is different from the earlier occasion reported only by Luke in Luke 7:36-50 (see notes). While Matthew and Mark report that the meal took place at the house of Simon the leper, John reports that one of the guests was Lazarus, the one having been raised from the dead by Jesus in John 11 (see notes). John does mention Simon down in verse 4. Perhaps the meal was in his honor, having been resurrected from the dead. Therefore, it is logical to conclude that it was the two sisters of Lazarus (Martha and Mary) who prepared the meal; they are mentioned by name in John's account. Likewise, the woman who anointed Jesus' feet with her hair is Mary according to John, presumably the sister of Lazarus. Mary and Martha had hosted a gathering on a previous occasion back in Luke 10:38-42 (see notes).
It is interesting that Matthew and Mark only mention the ointment being poured upon the "head" of Jesus. John is the only one who reports the feet/hair ritual. Obviously she poured the ointment on his head and feet, but John gives more detail in his account. It is interesting to me, though perhaps not significant, that John, on the eve of Jesus' crucifixion, reports that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and does not mention the communion service at all (John 13:4-20, see notes). Both Matthew and Luke quote Jesus as commenting that Mary anointed his "body" for his burial.
Judas estimates the value of the ointment at 300 denarii (aka "penny/pence" in the KJV, which is translated from the Greek: denarion). Back in Matthew 20:2 (see notes) we see that one denarion (penny/pence) was the wage given for one day's work in the vineyard. That would make the ointment used worth $18,000-$24,000 or so by 2009 wage standards in the United States. While Matthew and Mark do not indicate which disciple complained about the waste of ointment, John clearly identifies Judas Iscariot as one of the culprits here, and he goes on to give us an insight into Judas' motivation for his criticism in John 12:6, "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." Moreover, it would appear that perhaps Matthew and Mark are relating this instance to some justification in Judas' mind for betraying Jesus, since they include this occasion just prior to their reporting of the betrayal (see notes on Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6). Matthew and Mark report that other disciples, in addition to Judas, were unhappy about this waste of ointment also.
All three Gospel accounts quote Jesus as having said that this anointing was in preparation for his burial. So, just how much did the Jewish leadership care about the truth? I think it is obvious when you read their reaction in John 12:10-11 "But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus." They conspired to have Lazarus put to death simply to destroy the evidence of his resurrection. When Jesus told them that they were of their father the devil back in John 8:44 (see notes), you must admit that these were, indeed, evil men; yet, they were considered to be the most religious men of their day.
By the way, going through life with a a name like "Simon the leper" has to be tough. Apparently he had been cured of leprosy, and the name just stuck. There's only one thing that I can think of that would be worse. Since Judas Iscariot was Simon's son (John 12:4), he would later be known as Simon, father of Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus.
Incidentally, if this story looks familiar, perhaps it is because a similar event took place earlier in Jesus' ministry, recorded in Luke 7:36-50 (see notes). In that passage, the woman is not identified and the timeframe is one to two years earlier.
We're goin' to Jerusalem: The Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19)
|1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me.
3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, “The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
4 ¶ All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
6 ¶ So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.
7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.
8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Hosanna in the highest!”
10 ¶ And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
11 ¶ So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
|1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples;
2 and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it.
3 And if anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.”
4 ¶ So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it.
5 But some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the colt?”
6 ¶ And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go.
7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it.
8 And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
9 Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David
That comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!”
|29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples,
30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here.
31 And if anyone asks you, “Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ”
32 ¶ So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them.
33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”
34 ¶ And they said, “The Lord has need of him.”
35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.
36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.
37 ¶ Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen,
“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 ¶ And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
40 ¶ But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
|12 ¶ The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
The King of Israel!”
14 ¶ Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
16 ¶ His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
17 ¶ Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness.
18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign.
19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”
Here's the big moment of reckoning for Israel to which we've been building throughout the Gospels. What are you Jews going to do with the Messiah during the course of the week? In this passage Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey - the luxury vehicle of kings.
Now here's the really exciting part: This entry was prophesied in Zechariah 9:9 (see notes), "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey." And the people fully recognize the implications here when they cry out in verse 9, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!" This word "Hosanna" is a transliterated Aramaic expression which literally means "help, I pray" or "save, I pray," "King of Israel" - alarming words to the Jewish leaders. Luke translates additional Aramaic as, "Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." So, what brought out this big, exuberant crowd? John alludes to it in John 12:17-18; they had heard about the four-day-dead Lazarus being raised from the dead (John 11:1-17, see notes).
Make no mistake about it; the people were acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah while Jesus rode into Jerusalem as royalty - even spreading branches and garments in his way to make a clean path for royalty. Furthermore, thousands of visiting Jews were there that day in anticipation of celebrating the Passover in Jerusalem. Jesus had been preaching about the Kingdom of God through his entire ministry. That Kingdom of God was the message of the Messianic rule prophesied by the Old Testament prophets.
In Luke's account (Luke 19:39) we see that the Pharisees call upon Jesus to rebuke these people who are welcoming him into Jerusalem as the Messiah. Of course Jesus does no such thing, but perhaps uses a few words from Habakkuk 2:11 (see notes) instead, likely alluding to the fact that just as the stones could cry out regarding Babylonian atrocities, so could these stones cry out regarding the true identity of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Incidentally, their reference to Jesus as "teacher" in verse 39 comes from the Greek word, "didaskalos." It's the word used to identify a rabbi or master teacher. Thus the command from the Pharisees here is literally, "Teacher! Rebuke your pupils!"