1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus
was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
[There they made him a supper] Each Gospel has an account of a
meal wherein Jesus was annointed, and there is much discussion regarding
whether the descriptions are of the same or different events. My personal
understanding is that Luke describes an event which took place early in
Jesus ministry, likely while John the Baptist was still alive, while Matthew,
Mark and John describe another occasion which occurred shortly before
Jesus death. Compare
and the account in this chapter.
3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
[Annointed the feet of Jesus] The custom of the time was for meals to be taken while lying on one's side on a short couch. The legs were too long for the couch so were generally folded back, behind the couch. A person standing behind the couch would have easy access to a celebrant's feet.
4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
[Judas Iscariot, Simon's son] Not necessarily the son of Simon the Leper, although that is not ruled out. Simon was a very popular name at that time (there were two Simons within the 12 desciples). Judas Iscariot is often described as Simon's son but the context does not identify of which Simon.
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the
[Not that he cared for the poor] The evangelist points out his false words.
[And bare what was put therein] Or rather, as some eminent critics contend, carried off, or stole what was put therein. The words of the Greek text are often used in this sense and the context supports that meaning here. Such a gift, turned over to his care, could be used by him to make up the shortage caused by his embezelment. John specifically stated that Judas was a thief.
7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
[Against the day of my burying] She had been keeping this most valuable posession for the day when it would be used to embalm Jesus body. Overwhelmed by love, she elected to use some of it to annoint him at this moment.
8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
[But me ye have not always] The time of Jesus sacrificial death was drawing near.
9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came
not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had
raised from the dead.
[that they might put Lazarus also to death] Now the plot becomes
murderous. The chief priests could delude themselves into believing that
Jesus was an imposter, deserving of death, but Lazarus had done nothing
worthy of death. Murder was their plan.
12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they
heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
A great multitude of people from all points of the compass had gathered
in Jerusalem for the Passover. Upon the raising of Lazarus, many become
convinced that Jesus was the promised Messiah and welcomed him as the new
king of Israel. They did not realize that Jesus, at this time, was "The
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world."
He would receive his kingdom at a later time. Use the Godsview search feature to follow
"Lamb" through the Bible, especially the book of the Revelation.
14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
After the ascension of Christ the disciples saw the meaning of many prophecies which referred to Christ, and applied them to him, which they had not fully comprehended before. Indeeed, it is only in the light of the new covenant that the old is fully understood.
17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his
grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
As our Lord's converts were rapidly increasing, the Pharisees thought it necessary to execute without delay what they had decided previously. Put Jesus to death. John 11:53.
Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from Amazon.com
This page updated 04/04/2009Copyright (C) 1999, 2009 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved