Who Wiped Jesus Feet With Her Hair

Was it Martha’s sister Mary or Mary Magdalene who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair?

It takes a little of detective effort to piece together the facts about the numerous Marys referenced in the gospel accounts. The scenario you cite is particularly perplexing since there are four separate narratives with differing specifics in each of the four gospels, making it difficult to follow the narrative. A lady who is not identified is mentioned in both Mark and Matthew as anointing Jesus’ head with either nard or ointment. An anonymous woman “who was a sinner,” according to Luke, washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, anointed them with ointment, and dried them with her hair before he was crucified.

Only in the gospel of John is the woman referred to as “Mary of Bethany.” Having said that, none of the narratives indicate that Mary Magdalene was involved in any way.

Perhaps it was Mary, Martha’s sister, or perhaps it was another lady whose identity will remain a mystery to us for the rest of our lives.

Mary Magdalene Washes Jesus’ Feet with Her Tears, Wipes Them with Her Hair, and Anoints Them with Perfume

There was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that he was sitting at meat in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster cruse of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, wipe them with the hair of her head, kiss his feet, and anoint them with the ointment.” ASV translation of Luke 7:37-38 An illustration of the Virgin Mary drying Jesus’ feet with the hair on her head after she had bathed them with tears and before she anointed them with oil.

Simon, a Pharisee by the name of Jesus, is seated next to him.

Palm trees and a few buildings may be seen through an open window in the backdrop.


Mary of Magdala was anointed by Simon and Mary of Magdala was anointed by the Magdalene who was a penitent and washed with water, perfume and oil.


Rev. Dr. Richard Gilmour, D.D., R.I.P. Bible History: Containing the Most Remarkable Events of the Old and New Testaments, with a Compendium of Church History (New York, NEW YORK (NY): Benziger Brothers, 1904) is a book on the history of the Bible. 156


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The Unnamed Woman With the Alabaster Jar

As far as our perceptions of Bible women go, how did we go from sinner to whore? This harsh phrase is used solely to draw attention to the false dichotomy that has been given to Bible women, and it is not intended to imply that any woman should be subjected to this name.) Luke 7:36-39 describes a lady who approaches a house where Jesus is eating with her damaged and crying body. Using her hair to wipe the oil and tears off his feet, she anoints them with a kiss. The males in attendance are talking about her as if she isn’t even present.

With reference to the mystery woman’s character in our contemporary environment, it is simple to interpret her as “promiscuous.” Christians have historically had a proclivity to read Bible women’s non-specific sin as sexual immorality, and female promiscuity is frequently inferred from the text without any support from the text itself.

  • Sometimes Bible professors go beyond suggestion and assert categorically that the anonymous lady was unquestionably a prostitute—again, despite the absence of any specific scriptural proof to support their claim.
  • A footnote in the NASB refers to her as “immoral,” and there is a great deal of discussion about her character.
  • Mary, whose brother Lazarus was ill, anointed the Lord with ointment and washed His feet with her hair, was the Mary who did all of this” (John 11:2).
  • Because Luke’s Gospel does not include a chronological account of Jesus’ life and career, it is plausible to assume that event occurred later in Jesus’ mission than previously believed.
  • According to some academics, the unidentified lady’s position as a sexually disgraced woman, a prostitute, is so unquestionable that the unnamed woman in Luke 7 must be a distinct woman from the Mary who appears in John’s comparable account.
  • On two different occasions, Jesus was invited to a Pharisee’s home for supper by his host.
  • On both instances, Jesus was invited by a Pharisee who went by the name of Simon.


It’s not unreasonable to speculate that two women anointed Jesus with oil at some point during his life.

In Luke’s tale, the nameless lady is thought to be a prostitute, however in John’s version, she is identified as Mary.

Examine Mary in further detail.

She then went back to her place of grieving.

Then he requested that he be transported to Lazarus, who he then revived from the grave.

But then she witnessed the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection, something she will never forget.

She performed a great act of faith by breaking a pricey container of perfume and anointing Jesus with it.

She washed his feet with her own hair, which was a wonderful act of remorse on her part.

When Jesus allowed such a “sinful lady” to come close to him, Simon, the Pharisee, became embarrassingly ashamed.

Jesus, on the other hand, challenged Simon about his preconceived notions about Mary.

During the time when Jesus was carried off the crucifixion and put in a tomb, “Mary Magdalene and another Mary, who was sitting across the grave, were present” (Matthew 27:61).

She was poised and ready to anoint her savior once more.

Not only was the believer who anointed Jesus before his execution a nameless woman with no prior criminal record, but she also had a history of sexual transgression.

It is not honest to cast another woman in that part since we are having difficulty reconciling two different versions of the same woman.

No, she had a specific objective in mind: to anoint her savior.

In the same way as Mary did, women can gain knowledge at the foot of the Messiah.

And when we fall short and miss the actual nature of Jesus, we may come to him without feeling guilty.

This is the third installment of a series of articles examining what Christians have been taught about women in the Bible.

Read part 1 of Rahab’s story. Deborah the Judge and Jael the Just are featured in Part 2 of The Righteousand. Read Female and Male in Four Anointing Stories for additional information on this subject.

John 12:3 why would Mary wipe Jesus’ feet with her hair?

In accordance with Song of Songs 1:12-14 (NIV) While the king was seated at his dinner, the aroma of my perfume filled the room. I imagine my sweetheart to be as fragrant as a sachet of myrrh placed between my breasts. En Gedi’s vineyards provide me with an abundance of henna flowers, which I consider to be my cherished. Mary rubbed the scent of the nard into her hair, . That was the most common manner for upper-class ladies to consume nard. It is also being used as an anointing oil, which according to Jewish tradition was required for the appointment of both high priests and kings in this instance.

(However, I am perplexed as to why Mary did not pour the oil on his head in this particular chapter.) Because of the societal setting, it’s possible it would have been too disruptive.

Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; Luke 7:36–50; John 12:1–8

Sixth, when Jesus was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, Leprosy was a word used to describe a variety of skin illnesses; see Leviticus 13 ” href=” f1-“>17. awomancameuptohimwithanalabasterflaskofveryexpensiveointment,andshepoureditonhisheadashereclinedattable. “Why this waste?” they demanded, when they realized what had happened to the disobedient. 9 For this, it might have been sold for a huge quantity of money and the x donated to the destitute.” “Why are you causing problems for her?” replied Jesus, who was well aware of what they were doing.

11 Forz you’ll always have the poor with you, buta you’ll never have me with you.

13 Truly, I say to you, whereverc thisgospelisproclaimedinthewholeworld, what she has done will also be remembered in her honor.”

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Leprosy was a name used to describe a variety of skin ailments; see Leviticus 13 for further information. 3b Andwhilehewasatc BethanyinthehouseofSimontheleper, “A href=” f1-“>Anchor text: 1ashewasrecliningattable,awomancamewithanalabasterflaskofointmentofpurenard,verycostly,andshebroketheflaskandpoureditoverhishead. Four people expressed their outrage by asking themselves, “Why was the ointment used in that manner? 5 Thisointmentcouldhavebeenavailableforsaleformorethanthreehundreddollars. arii It was equivalent to a day’s salary for a laborer ” href=” f2-“> “>2 and d were given to the less fortunate.” And they reprimanded her for it.


However, you will not always have me. 8i She has completed her tasks; she has anointed my body prior to burial in preparation for burial. 9 And really, I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the entire globe, what she has done will be remembered.”

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36u One of the Pharisees approached him and invited him to join him for dinner; he agreed and went to the Pharisee’s house to accept the invitation. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,38 and standing behind himathisfeet with tears in her eyes began to wet thisfeet with her tears and wipe them with the hair of her head, kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.

  1. One owed five hundred and fifty denarii, while the other owed fifty.
  2. Nowwhichofthemwilllovehimmore?” 43 Simon responded, “I’m assuming it was for this person that he forgave the greater debt.” Andhesaidtohim,“Youhavejudgedrightly.” 44 ThenturningtowardthewomanhesaidtoSimon,“Doyouseethiswoman?
  3. .45f You offered me a kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet from the moment I arrived.
  4. 47 As a result, I tell you that her crimes, which are numerous, are forgiven—because she was greatly loved.
  5. 49 Then those who were seated at the meal with him started to ask among” href=” f1-“>1themselves, “Who is he, who even forgives sins?” 50 “Your faith has rescued you,” Jesus told the woman, “and now depart in peace.”
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Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany

12 Because it was six days before Passover,j Jesus traveled to Bethany,k where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had resurrected from the grave. 2 As a result, they prepared a meal for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who sat at the table with him. Therefore, 3m Marytookapound Greeklitera; an alitra (or Roman pound) was about 11 1/2 ounces or 327 grams. A href=” f1-“>1ofexpensiveointmentmadefrompurenard was applied to the feet of Jesus, and she cleaned the soles of his feet with her hair.

4 Nevertheless, Judas Iscariot, one of his followers (and the man who was about to betrayhim), asked,5 “Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii?” “Adenarius was the equivalent of a day’s salary for a laborer.” Is 2andn given to the poor?

6 He stated this not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and because he was in charge of the moneybag, he used it to help himself to whatever was placed in it.

7 “Leaveheralone,sothatshemaykeepit,” Jesus said, or “Leave her alone, since she planned to keep it.” href=” f3-“>3forthedayofmyburial”>3forthedayofmyburial 8 For the impoverished, you constantly have them with you, yet you never have them with you.”

Bible Gateway passage: Luke 7:36-50 – New International Version

Jesus accepted an invitation from one of the Pharisees to have dinner with him, and he went to the Pharisee’s home and sat down at the table with him. 37When a wicked woman in that town discovered that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she went there with an alabaster jar of perfume in her possession. When she was crying, she stood behind him at his feet and proceeded to soak his feet with her tears as she stood behind him. Afterwards, she cleaned their faces with her hair, kissed them, and sprayed them with perfume.

  • “Tell me, teacher,” he demanded emphatically.
  • One owing him five hundred denarii, while the other owed him fifty denarii.
  • “Which of them will be more in love with him now?” 41″I presume the one who had the larger loan forgiven,” Simon responded.
  • 44After upon, Jesus turned toward the woman and asked Simon, “Do you see this woman?” The door opened and I walked into your home.
  • 45You did not give me a kiss, E)”>(E)but this woman has not stopped kissing my feet since the moment I walked through the door.
  • 47As a result, I assure you that her numerous offenses have been forgiven, as seen by her tremendous affection.
  • 48 Afterwards, Jesus remarked to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” G)”>(G)49 “Who is this person who even forgives sins?” the other guests began to speculate among themselves.


  1. Luke 7:41 (NIV) A denarius was the standard daily salary for a day worker in the first century AD (see Matt. 20:2).

New International Version (New International Version) (NIV) NIV® stands for New International Version® of the Holy Bible. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011, and 2012 byBiblica, Inc.®Used with permission from the owner. All rights are retained around the world. The New International Version (NIV) Reverse Interlinear Bible provides translations from English to Hebrew and from English to Greek. Zondervan has copyright protection till the year 2019.

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NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: In celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8), Women’s History Month in the United States, and the upcoming Lenten season, we will be presenting devotions written by women on the women that Jesus tended to throughout his earthly ministry. The title of this series will be “The Women Jesus Fell in Love With.” Until Passion Week, we will publish the devotions on Mondays and Thursdays. Thank you for your patience. We hope you will come back each week to discover how Jesus loves all of us, especially women, and to learn more about him.

  1. You may read the rest of the entries here.
  2. She lived at a period in which males were reported to have expressed gratitude to God on a daily basis for not having been born female.
  3. Not only that, but she had embraced an unmentionable vice for such a long period of time that it had become a part of her personality.
  4. It’s possible to hear ” prostitute” in whispers.
  5. Take a left at the crosswalk.
  6. There will be no greeting.
  7. Simon the Pharisee was familiar with her.

In the event that this man were a prophet, he would have realized who and what kind of lady was touching him, because she is a sinner.” Despite this, she had undergone a transformation.

What drew this type of women to this location?

She came for Jesus, and she came prepared to receive Him as her Lord and Savior.

What led her to learn about Jesus?

Did she overhear someone mention that he cured the sick and demon-possessed (6:18) in the marketplace?

She must have been aware that he was “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (7:34), because there is no other explanation for her rash decision.

She kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment as she stood behind him.

What gives her the right to touch the Holy One?

No, God’s kingdom is not for the arrogant; rather, it is for the humble in heart (6:20).

It is intended for tax collectors and sinners alike (15:1-2).

The return of the prodigal (15:11-32).

She, on the other hand, did not appear to contradict incorrect doctrine.

And the members of her body that had before been offered up to sin as instruments of unrighteousness were now being offered up to him in his service, which she desired (Romans 6:13).

Simon welcomed Jesus into his home, but he did not welcome him into his heart, and he did not extend the most fundamental act of hospitality.

Here was this who and what type of lady, leaning over Jesus’ filthy feet, washing them with her tears and tenderly wiping his feet with her hair, in stark contrast to the previous scene.

Simon was considered superior to Mary in every manner, but Jesus saw what was in their hearts (Luke 2:35).

You didn’t give me a kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since the moment I walked through the door.

What could possibly elicit such extravagant displays of affection and adoration from this woman?

Simon had something to say to Jesus, and Jesus wanted to share it with him.

When they were unable to pay, he cancelled the debts of both of them.

Her transgressions against God were numerous, but God himself bore the burden and discharged her debts.

– they were absolved and forgotten.

“Consequently, I declare that her sins, which are numerous, have been forgiven – for she loved greatly.” And her love was the fragrant flower that bloomed from the seed of divine forgiveness that she had sown in her heart.

Then he told her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Later on, those present at the table with him began to speculate among themselves, “Who is this, and who even forgives sins?” they wondered.

Most likely, they were making fun of Jesus’ implied claim to be the moneylender, or God himself, in his teachings.

Please accept my thanks, but no thanks; they could pay for it themselves.

The self-righteous who prayed, “God, thank you that I am not like this sinful woman,” did not find justification in Christ’s sacrifice.

(See Luke 18:9-14 for more information.) In response, he told the woman, “Your faith has saved you; depart in peace.” The Pharisees were more scandalized by Jesus’ words than they were by this woman’s past.

His words, on the other hand, were accurate. It was God’s kingdom that she was seeking, as well as those like her, through God’s grace. Us. Read more of our “The Women Jesus Loved” serieshere.

A Sinful Woman Washed Jesus Feet

In the first reading for today’s mass, Paul instructs the disciples to set a good example for others by their words and behaviour, and to put into practice what they have learned through the public reading of scripture, sermons, and teachings they have received in their lives. What Paul taught his followers in the first reading for today’s mass is reinforced by the story of a wicked woman who washed Jesus’ feet today in the gospel of Matthew. There is significant discussion over who this immoral lady is, but many believe she is Mary Magdalene, who was crucified beside Jesus.

  1. She serves as a role model for us in a variety of ways.
  2. Words are simply words if they are just heard and not performed in a meaningful manner.
  3. This is the overall message of the first reading.
  4. We may pick up on a variety of different facets of it, such as the attitude of the Pharisees when they witnessed this wicked lady demonstrate a very public gesture of love for Jesus.
  5. Perhaps this wicked lady who washed Jesus’ feet was able to show her emotions, but the disciples were unable to do so.
  6. There are a lot of us who are like that as well.
  7. Feelings can be tough to cope with at times, and it is sometimes preferable to avoid being emotionally engaged.

What is truly astounding is that Mary, despite the fact that she was a known sinner, couldn’t care less about what others thought.

For some of us, what other people think of us is really important.

This is a very essential lesson for those who find it difficult to interact with others who are critical of them.

See also:  Why Was Jesus Baptized By John

It is important to know what Jesus Christ thinks of you.

In today’s narrative, Mary had grown to love Jesus so much that she just did what came naturally to her and didn’t give a damn about what others thought.

The Pharisees, on the other hand, clearly mistook it for something else.

It is quite simple to become distracted from the things that are truly essential from time to time.

She had grown to love Jesus, and it was a real love on her part.

Her tears might possibly have been caused by the fact that she had grown to adore Jesus and had never known what true love was before meeting Christ.

She may not have realized her own human dignity and self-worth until she encountered Christ, who demonstrated to her that she was worthwhile in both God’s and her own sight.

He saw that she did not comprehend the true meaning of genuine love at the time.

Regardless of what you have done in your life, every human being has been created in the image and likeness of God Himself, and so is precious and cherished in His sight.

In our lives, Jesus is able to see through all of the layers of the events that have occurred and the sins that we have committed to get to the heart of the problem, to the heart of what is wrong.

So many times in our lives, we make mistakes due to a lack of knowledge or understanding.

Jesus has the ability to clear up any misunderstandings we may have about ourselves or others, and to put things back in their proper perspective. If we are willing to make a change, we have already taken the first step towards healing. Catholic Saints and Sinners is a collection of books.

Meaning of Mary washing the feet of Jesus

In your opinion, what is the significance of Mary washing Jesus’ feet before his crucifixion? This foot washing is mentioned in the book of John, chapter 12, and the passages in question are located there. Examine the first few verses of this chapter to see if there is anything we can gather from them that may help us respond to your question. The opening verse of John 12 informs us that Jesus visits to the Bethany house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus less than a week before his final Passover with his followers.

  • The real date was March 29th, 30 A.D.
  • He will be betrayed and arrested at the end of the day on Tuesday, April 4th, which is the following Tuesday.
  • Martha prepared Jesus’ dinner, according to the second verse of the chapter.
  • She would devote herself so completely to her service that she would occasionally lose sight of the fact that something far more vital demanded her attention (Luke 10:38 – 42).
  • (See also John 12:3).
  • 1616, is a Dutch painter.
  • The plant is native to India.

In John 12, verses 4 to 6, we learn that Judas (who would later betray Christ) expressed his displeasure to Jesus by saying that instead of purchasing spikenard, Mary should have used the money to donate to the needy.

Due to his criminal background (verse 6), he wanted the oil transformed BACK into currency so that he could steal it from the group’s “money bag” (which was most likely designed to benefit the needy) so that he could steal it from the bag.

He also says that what she did was a really excellent thing, which is also true.

Her service was both admirable and deserving of praise.

In comparison to her sister, Martha, she was more ” spiritually aware.” Aside from that, she was more interested in what Jesus had to say, and she made it a point to sit at His feet so that she could hear every word He spoke while in her presence (Luke 10:39).

Her deeds are memorialized in the Bible on purpose to serve as a reminder to people of all ages about what she did.

Our heavenly Father sets a high value on humility and love, both of which are essential characteristics of a true Christian’s character and behavior.

The Woman who Anoints Jesus

Andrea Solario is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City (c.1524) Mary Magdalene (also known as Mary Magdalene) is a Christian saint who lived during the time of Jesus Christ. What she has done will be told in her memory whenever the gospel is proclaimed throughout the world,’ says the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Matthew 14:9) Despite the fact that the lady who pours perfume on Jesus in the days before his death is mentioned in the gospels, it is difficult to learn anything about her beyond the broad strokes provided by the gospel accounts.

According to Mark’s account (usually regarded to be the first of the gospels to have been written down, and to be the simplest in terms of language and organization), these are the first words of Jesus: “I am the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He was in Bethany at the time, lying at the table at the home of Simon the Leper when a lady approached him with an alabaster jar filled with a very costly perfume made entirely of nard.

  1. She shattered the container and sprayed the perfume all over his face.
  2. This property might have been sold for more than a year’s earnings, and the proceeds distributed to the less fortunate.
  3. ‘Leave her alone,’ Jesus instructed.
  4. She has done something very wonderful for me.
  5. However, you will not always have me at your disposal.
  6. She prepared my body for burial by sprinkling perfume on it the night before.
  7. The passage in Luke 7:36-50 mentions that the lady had led a wicked life, and the widespread consensus is that this means that she was involved in prostitution.
  8. Jesus takes use of the situation to make a point about sin and forgiveness, as well as about the hospitality of his host.
  9. Throughout John 12:1-8, the lady is named as Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, and she is not depicted as having committed a sin.

There are further variances in the four narratives in terms of whether the perfume is spilled on Jesus’ head or feet, whether she rips his feet with her tears and dries them with her hair, and the importance that Jesus attaches to the incident (giving to the poor; forgiveness and hospitality; foreshadowing his death).

  1. Matthew and Mark’s reports of the woman do not give her a name, and they provide no other information about her past.
  2. According to John 11:2, this Mary, whose brother Lazarus is now ailing, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord’s feet and cleaned his feet with her hair earlier in the day.
  3. According to a long-standing belief, this Mary is also Mary Magdalene, out of whom Jesus had banished seven devils as previously said (Luke 8:2; Mark 16:9).
  4. In biblical times, Mary was a fairly common given name, and various variations appear in the gospels and the New Testament (the mother of Jesus, Mary from Bethany, Mary Magdalene, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, amongst others).
  5. What exactly is in a nard?
  6. This is clearly intended to emphasize the great importance of the document.
  7. A plant native to the Himalayas, nard or spikenard oil has been used as a perfume, incense, and medicinal for millennia.

Beyond its mention in the gospels, the Song of Solomon makes reference to it as well (1:12 and 4:13).

A denarius was a coin that held 3.9 grams of silver around the time of Jesus.

An other measure of its worth is that the denarius was the usual payment for a day’s salary during Jesus’ lifetime (see Matthew 20:2).

In today’s money, this would be nearly equivalent to the median pay of around £25,000.

(By contrast, the most expensive perfume currently available for retail purchase is Clive Christian’s Imperial Majesty, which retails for $215,000 for a 16-ounce bottle adorned with a 5-carat diamond cluster.

Is it one of her tools of the trade, presuming she has not been misrepresented by the comments, or is it a family relic that she has passed down through generations?

What ever the source of the extravagance,’some of those present’ lament that the money should have been put to greater use (it’s easy to blow money that doesn’t belong to you).

‘There will always be impoverished people among you,’ says the prophet.

Even if we venture deeper into the area of conjecture, there is a subtext to this story.

What are you doing with yours?

‘He did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it,’ John 12:6 explains further.

In all seriousness, Judas, I appreciate your concern about my impending death.

Application A wide range of applications can be drawn from this passage, which serves as an uncomfortable reminder to anyone who has ever adopted a superior-than-thou attitude toward someone or something else.

Selling the perfume and giving the money to the poor would have been a generous gesture and a way of honouring Jesus; the extravagance of ‘wasting’ it by pouring it on him was an even better one.

Immediate priorities may take precedence over the long-term ‘big picture’, as they do here.

It’s easy to judge people for the way they spend their money.

How generous are we with what we have?

Lastly, there’s an insight into the way the human mind works.

However, we are more than capable of deluding ourselves and certainly adept at misleading other people.

His anger was not at the lost opportunity to feed hungry people, but at his own personal loss.

Understanding even our own feelings may require reflection and help from God and others. ‘The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.’ (Proverbs 20:5) This article was originally featured in our January 2018 Engage Newsletter.

John 12:3 Then Mary took about a pint of expensive perfume, made of pure nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

(3)After that, Mary obtained a pound of spikenard ointment. – Here, too, St. John is the only one who names the figure whom St. Matthew and St. Mark refer to as “a lady,” and she is true to the previous character as shown in St. Luke’s account (Luke 10:40;Luke 10:42). We can also see from this paragraph that she packed a “pound” of ointment with her on her journey. According to the other tales, it was a “alabaster box” in shape. Originally, this pound was the Greek litra, which became the Latin “libra,” which meant “pound of twelve ounces.” See Mark 14:3 for further information on the “ointment of spikenard.” It is possible that it refers to “Nard Pistik,” or Pistik ointment, because the term Pistik is a local name.

  • And she anointed Jesus’ feet with oil, wiping his feet with her hair while she did so.
  • Matthew and St.
  • According to tradition (see, for example, Luke 7:46 and Psalm 23:5), but St.
  • Verse three: As a result, Mary obtained a pound (the synoptists Matthew and Mark refer to it as “an alabaster,” i.e., a flask made of the expensive spar, which was specially suitable to the storage of liquid perfume, and which was hermetically sealed before being split for immediate use).
  • Mark makes use of this unique term, which comes from the later Greek period.
  • It is also translated as “spikenard” in Mark 14:3 by the Authorized Version, just as it is here (see alsoSong of Solomon 1:12 and Song 4:13, 14, where Hebrew correlates with the letter o).
  • It is probable that the term had a specific geographical meaning in the area and belonged to a particular proper name, and that it is thus untranslatable.
  • Mark (Mark 14:3) and Matthew (Matthew 26:7) both use the term in their respective passages.
  • Each of the synoptists mentions a fact that John does not mention – that Mary broke the alabaster box and poured the costly unguent on his head in great abundance, as if hers had been the royal or high-priestly anointing (cf.
  • She anointed Jesus’ feet with oil and cleaned his feet with her hair, and the entire house was filled with the scent of the ointment once she finished.
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his innermost essence shines with dazzling light;” and adding that, just as the feet of the high priest were washed with water from recent defilement of the world’s dust, so An analogy of such profundity appears to us to be at odds with the simplicity of the tale, which appears to be entirely natural in its structure.

  • The crucial deed is further told as Mary wiped away the excess perfume from his feet with the strands of her unbound hair, a gesture that is still remembered today.
  • Many erroneous assumptions have been taken from this, many of which are completely unneeded.
  • Commentaries that run in parallel.
  • tookλαβοῦσα(labousa) Strong’s 2983: Verb – Aorist Participle Active – Nominative Feminine Singular Verb – Aorist Participle Active – Nominative Feminine Singular (a) I get, obtain, (b) I take, seize, and so on.
  • The weight of a pound is of Latin origin.
  • From the standpoint of polus and time, this is incredibly beneficial.
  • constructed entirely of pure (pistiks) materials Strong’s 4101:Genuine, pure (as in ointment), and dependable.

She was anointed with oil of alien origin (‘nard’).

To lubricate.

feet πόδας(podas) In the Strong’s 4228, the foot is used as an accusative masculine plural noun.

andκαὶ(kai) ConjunctionStrong’s 2532 includes the words and, more more importantly, specifically.

Massaomai is made by kneading the ek and the base of the massaomai, which means to wipe dry.

‘Foot’ is a fundamental term.

This includes all of the inflections of the feminine he as well as the neuter to; the definite article; and the.

The reflexive pronoun self, which is used in the third person as well as the other persons, is derived from the particle au.

θριξὶν(thrixin) Plural of a noun in the Dative Feminine Form Strong’s 2359:Hair is a kind of hair (of the head or of animals).

Andδὲ(de) ConjunctionStrong’s 1161 is as follows: A primary particle; nonetheless, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and Strong’s 3588:the, the definite article in nominative feminine singular.

houseοἰκία(oikia) Noun – Nominative Feminine SingularStrong’s 3614: Noun – Nominative Feminine Singular From the Greek word oikos, which means “home,” however it is most commonly used to refer to a place of living.

Origin, from, and forth are all denoted by the basic preposition theτῆς(tēs) definite articleStrong’s 3588:the, the definite article in the genitive feminine singular including the feminine he and the neuter to in all of their inflections; the definite article; the.fragrance(osms); and the definite article Strong’s 3744: A scent, odor, or flavor.

This includes all of the inflections of the feminine he as well as the neuter to; the definite article; and the word “perfume” (myrou) Noun – Genitive Neuter SingularStrong’s 3464: noun – genitive neuter singular Anointing oil, anointing ointment ‘Myrrh,’ which is a fragrant oil, is most likely of foreign origin.

Revelations 12:3 (Catholic Bible) Gospels of the New Testament: Mary, as a result, took a pound of ointment, according to John 12:3. (Jhn Jo Jn)

Mary’s Perfume Points Us Toward the Cross

And then Mary took approximately one pint of pure nard, a very expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and rubbed them with her hair. Moreover, the scent of the perfume enveloped the entire home” (John 12:3). A scene of great hospitality and personal fellowship has been set in the aftermath of Lazarus’ resurrection, as Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus meet in the light of Lazarus’ resurrection (John 12:1-11). Lazarus is resting at the table with Jesus, who is speaking to him. Martha, ever the proactive servant, is putting supper on the table.

  • Afterwards, Mary makes her public display of devotion to Jesus by lavishing a whole pint of exquisite perfume over his feet and defying rules of decorum by unfurling her hair to clean them.
  • They are now surrounded by the fragrance of a wonderful perfume, thanks to Lazarus.
  • Mary’s shameless, modest, lavish gesture is a magnificent depiction of pure devotion.
  • This is unreserved devotion of a gracious and merciful God.

Chung Kwan Park, a Korean singer, encourages worshipers to connect with Mary’s adoration in his song, “to My Precious Lord I bring my flask of fragrant oil; bending down, I kiss his feet, anointing them with the oil.” Put yourself on your knees and imagine what type of love would move you to willingly part with a year’s pay as a worthy answer to the Lord of life.

  1. After then, the atmosphere becomes considerably frigid.
  2. Isn’t it preferable to take the entire year’s salary that was used to purchase the perfume and donate it to the less fortunate?
  3. Judas is a thieving group treasurer who is solely concerned with his personal financial gain.
  4. It is impossible to overstate how stark the difference is: Mary is charitable, but Judas is avaricious.
  5. Mary is a selfless person, whereas Judas is self-centered.
  6. These two individuals work together to provide stark contrasts in the context of Jesus’ own teaching: “Wherever your wealth is, there will also be your heart” (Matt.
  7. As we reflect on Jesus’ condemnation of Judas, we are reminded that real discipleship means turning away from all that is selfish, self-centered, and cold-hearted.

To overcome the urge to look down our noses at acts of worship that appear to our pompous selves to be unusual, strange, or over the top in their presentation.

Nonetheless, this overlooks an important aspect of this text—and of the gospel as a whole.

It is a perfume intended for the burial of Jesus.

As if to say, “While you will rightfully be loving and helping the poor at all times, this is actually my death week,” Jesus welcomes Mary’s action as totally appropriate in the context of an expected pattern of love to the poor (v.

As the Gospel of John frequently demonstrates, Jesus was well aware that he would die.

She has spent her money on a burial ointment that is fit for a king.

She comes to terms with the unsettling reality that her Lord will perform miracles in an unfathomably countercultural, if not scandalous, manner.

While holding palm branches on Palm Sunday, we will be tempted to opt for upbeat major-key praise hymns rather than solid minor-key odes that proclaim, “Ride on, Ride on in grandeur; ride on in humble pomp to die.” Inevitably, there will be a strong temptation to rush through Palm Sunday and Easter, paying little attention to the tragedy and great injustice of Jesus’ suffering and death.

True, we are not expected to shower funeral perfume at the feet of a Savior as he journeys to the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus Christ.

However, the lavish and modest style of devotion that has been laid out before us is still powerfully influenced by the plain reality that the divine plan of redemption did not come at Easter until after Jesus’ suffering, death, and burial, but only after these events.

During this season of Lent, this is the Lord who beckons to us, “Come, follow me.” John D.

Originally published as part of CT’s 2019 Lent/Easter devotional, Journey to the Cross, which is available for digital download at the link above.

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