Jesus Anointed at Bethany
Comments for Study 27
Memory Verse: 9
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>1. What was the time and what was the general atmosphere underlying the events of this chapter?
* Mark 14:1-2 "Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. "But not during the Feast," they said, "or the people may riot.""
* "only two days away" -An outline of this week is as follows.
Friday -Jesus arrives in the Jerusalem area. (John 11:54-12:1)
Saturday (Sabbath) -a day of rest; no event recorded except Luke 21:37-38.
Sunday -Jesus' triumphal entry. (Matt. 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19)
Monday -Jesus curses the fig tree (Matt. 21:18-19; Mark 11:12-14). Jesus clears out the Temple. (Matt 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18)
Tuesday -Jesus' authority questioned. (Matt. 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:18) Jesus teaches in the temple. (Matt. 21:28-22:46; Mark 12:1-44; Luke 20:9-21:4) Jesus wept over Jerusalem's leader's unbelief and rejecting him as their King. (Matthew 23:1-39) Jesus anointed at Bethany. (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 13:3-9; John 12:2-11)
Wednesday -another day of rest; no event recorded except Luke 21:37-38. The Jews plot to kill Jesus. (Matt. 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6)
Thursday (Hebrew month Abib the 13th day) -the Passover meal begins at twilight (see below note) when Jesus and the disciples celebrate the Last Supper. (Matt. 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; John 13:1-18) Jesus comforts the disciples (John 14:1-16:33) Jesus prays at Gethsemane. (Matt. 26:26-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46)
Friday (Hebrew month Abib, 14 day) -According Hebrew time Jesus is arrest and tried from night to daylight. (Matt. 26:47-27:26; Mark 14:43-15:15; Luke 22:47-23:25; John 18:2-19:16) Jesus' crucifixion at 3:00pm, and death before sunset which is the end of the Hebrew day and Passover. (Matt. 27:27-56; Mark 15:16-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-30) Jesus is buried at sunset. (Matt. 27:57-66; mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:31-42)
Saturday (Sabbath Abib 15, Seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread begins) Jesus' body is in the tomb. He appears in Sheol and accompanies the saints previously dead to heaven.
Sunday (Abib 16; day of First Fruits Sheaf Wave) Jesus' morning resurrection and appearing to the women. (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18) Then he appeared to the two on the road. (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35) Then to the ten apostles (no Thomas or Judas) in the evening. (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25)
Saturday (Sabbath) -Jesus appears to Thomas and the rest of the apostles. (John 20:26-31)
A week later -Jesus talks and eats with some disciples by the Sea of Galilee. (John 21:1-25)
Forty days since his resurrection -Jesus ascends to his Father from the Mount of Olives. (Matt. 28:15-20; Mark 18:19-20; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:1-11)
* Note: The Passover is linked to the 14th days of the month not the day of the week. Passover starting on Thursday at twilight is a very rare event; unusually it starts on a different day of the week. (Hebrew days start at sunset/twilight and go thru the night till the next day's sunset.) Falling on a Thursday that year made it possible for Jesus to fulfill the meaning behind the feasts associated with the Passover. His crucified was on Friday (still Passover), the Sabbath (Saturday) rest was the Feast of Unleavened Bread (always on the first Sabbath after Passover), and Sunday was the third day since his death, the day of the First Fruit Sheaf Wave, and the day that Jesus rose from the dead. All three feasts were thus fulfilled by Jesus.
* The population of Jerusalem swelled to ten times its normal size during this week because the Lord commanded all Israel to celebrate these feasts in only that city. The reason the Lord did this was so that when the Messiah came all would see his death and resurrection.
* The Jews often interchanged the the word "Passover" and the phrase "Feast of Unleavened Bread" even though they are separate celebrations (feasts).
>What was the significance of this particular time?
* The day of Passover commemorates the day when the angel of death passed over the Israelites' houses when they were slaves in Egypt. The Lord told Moses and Aaron to tell Pharaoh to let his people go. Pharaoh did not and seven plagues followed. The seventh time he would not let them go the plague of death (where all the first born died) came. However, God told the Israelites to smear the blood of a lamb over their door post. If the angel of death saw this blood then their first born sons would not die. This is how the Passover foreshadowed Jesus shedding of blood saves us from death.
* Jesus, the Messiah (Christ is Greek) became the Lamb of God that shed his pure blood so that the sins of Adam and Eve’'s race could be done away with and so they would be restored. (Rom. 5:9) Jesus, God who created and then walked and talked with Adam and Eve, suffered and then died on the cross to restore their relationship with him. Jesus wilful act of receiving humiliation, pain, suffering, and death displays just how far God needed to go to restore a relationship with his people, his bride. (Phil. 2:8) The drastic act was needed because sin is so heinous. (Rom. 1:18, 21, 28, 32)
* The feast of Unleavened Bread lasted seven days of which Passover was on the first of the seven days. Unleavened bread contains no yeast. The Israelites were to eat no yeast for seven days. No yeast was to be found in their household (Ex. 12). Yeast represents sin in many places in the Bible. Getting ride of yeast represents getting rid of sin. Jesus' death gets rid of our sin. The letter to the Hebrews discusses in detail Jesus' act of getting rid of our sin.
* Mark 14:1-11 and John 12:1-10 is the same event. At first glance it may appear that the authors attribute different days to this event. They don't. John records it out of order (see how verses 1 and 2 are worded). John changes the time line while Mark doesn't because their audience focus was different; Mark to Romans, John to Jews (also see Matt. 26:6-13).
>2. What unexpected thing happened while Jesus and his disciples were having dinner in the home of Simon?
* Mark 14:3 "While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head."
* Jesus probably accepted Simon's invitation, who was a leaper, when he healed him.
* This woman's act was an unusual expression of love and thanksgiving.
* She was unconscious of other people when she did this because she was concentrating on Jesus. This is how she could do such a bold thing.
* Her action was done by faith.
* Her action was sacrificial.
>3. How did those present react to this woman's actions?
* Mark 14:4-5 "Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly."
* According to other gospels, one of those indignant was Judas the betrayer.
* Outwardly it looked like they were being money conscious, as well as practical, and helpful to the poor.
* Inwardly they were just bitter people.
* Their issue wasn't the interruptions and the strong smell.
>What is the element of truth in their practical words?
* The money that could have been made on the sale of the perfume which could have benefited the poor. It was worth a years wages.
* Their objection sounded like a noble cause.
>What was wrong with their idea? (4,5)
* They did not see the act of this woman from a spiritual point of view. They couldn't see her heart devotion. They valued the money more.
* They would always have the poor with them, but we have to honor God which is more important.
* Most likely her act was a thanksgiving offering.
* They didn't know that his suffering, death and burial was approaching. So they didn't know that God compelled her to do it in preparation of his burial.
* There are times that we have to seemingly waste money.
* Anybody can waste the poor, but only Jesus' people can preach the gospel.
* Indirectly they didn't think that Jesus should be honored. They had low value of Jesus. They took Jesus for granted. Rather than making him the center of their religion, they made him only a part of their religion.
* Nothing is more important than Jesus.
* Loving Jesus seems like a waste to others.
>4. How did Jesus respond to her action?
* Mark 14:6 ""Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me."
* He defended her.
* He supported and complimented her.
* He rebuked those giving her a hard time.
* "a beautiful thing" -it came from the heart.
* If Jesus remained silent it would look like he agreed with them. He did not.
>Through her action, what did he teach about himself?
* Mark 14:7 "The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me."
* "any time you want" -Jesus did not say we shouldn't help the poor. What he is saying is that timing, priorities, and reasons are important.
* "any time you want" -Seems to imply that they could have helped the poor in the past with their own money if they were so concerned about the poor.
>What was the meaning of her action?
* Mark 14:8-9 "She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
* Most likely she did know know that Jesus' time was near, but Jesus saw that because she loved Jesus, God compelled her to do this.
* Gospel work is preaching this kind of beautiful act.
* "throughout the world" -Jesus points out the good news is going to be preached throughout the world.
>Why did Jesus respond as he did?
* He saw her heart devotion.
* He saw the significance of her actions.
* Our works of love for Jesus seem small to the world, but to Jesus they are great acts to remembered by all.
* Jesus seeks God's actions of preparations
>5. In what respect is Judas a contrast to this woman?
* Mark 14:10-11 "Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over."
* In his heart was evil intentions.
>What do you think motivated him to betray Jesus to the chief priests?
* Money and selfishness and a hurt heart because of the rebuke.
* He probably saw everything Jesus was doing falling apart and wanted to get out of Jesus' following. He wanted to get out of Jesus what every he could.
* He had a strong concept of what the Christ should be like. Jesus did not fit into his idea.
* His heart wasn't right and he didn't know what he was doing and God used this for his glory and purpose.