2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
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.
4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, 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 bag, and bare what was put therein.
7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
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.
10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
Key Observation: With this miracle things come quickly toward the cross.
Devotion: McGee: “It may surprise you to learn that this is the end of the public ministry of Jesus when you see that we are only near the halfway mark in the Gospel of John. His public ministry began when John the Baptist marked Him out as the Lamb of God. It concluded when He raised Lazarus from the dead. John, you see, spent almost as much time on the last forty-eight hours before His death as he did on the first thirty-two years, eleven months, three weeks, and five days of His life.”
Earlier, in reading McGee’s fine commentary on John, he said something I disagreed with. He thought that John was the gospel for believers, and cited a few examples of people who tried to evangelize through this gospel. He did not believe John was effectual to bring people to Christ. I, of course, remembered the stated purpose of John: (John 20) “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” I do believe that the gospel of John is carefully written to persuade the questioning one towards faith. At least all the way through chapter 11. Now the conversation changes, and from here to the cross, Jesus has a lot to say with very specific teaching to Christians. So at least, I would agree with McGee that much of the latter part of John is very specific teaching to those who already believe, and that is what I am on now.
Here Mary is anointing Jesus with a very expensive perfume. I need to remember why she is doing this; not only did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus is the brother of Mary. The Scripture tells me that this takes place 6 days before the Passover, and I notice Jesus is in Bethany with Martha, her brother Lazarus is at the dinner with Jesus, and Mary chooses to anoint the feet of her Lord. Judas Iscariot complains about the wasted money, and John alone tells us that Judas wanted the money for himself. Here again I benefit from inside information that John had, and was probably not generally available. Did John know or guess about the character of Judas before the betrayal? Did John have more insight or perception about what was going on, just because he was closer to Jesus?
At any rate, Matthew does give additional information and lets me know that they were all at a house of a man known as Simon the Leper. Matthew does not specifically mention Judas as being the objector, but rather points a finger generally at the disciples. It is possible that one or more of the disciples, unaware of Judas’ coming betrayal, were in agreement generally with Judas’ objection that the money could have been given to the poor.
Mark is very similar to Matthew, with the following addition. Not only were the feet of Jesus anointed, but also was his head anointed: “She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Mark also indicates to me that this may have been the “last straw” for Judas. He was so upset that he went directly to betray Jesus to the chief priests. Evidently this is the first time Judas went to the priests; John records the second betrayal only, when Judas gets the chief priests to come to a “regular place” where Jesus met secretly with his disciples. (John 18). Luke does not tell of the anointing, but does give the extra information that Judas had made an advance deal with the chief priests, and “watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.” (Luke 22)
The order of Judas’s plan for betrayal:
John 12:4 “But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”
John 12:5 “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.”
Mt. 26:14 “Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests
Mt. 26:15 “and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.”
Mk. 14:10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.
Lk. 22:3 “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.
Lk. 22:4 “And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.”
Lk. 22:5 “They were delighted and agreed to give him money.”
Mt. 26:16 “From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”
Mk 14:11 “They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”
Lk. 22:6 “He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.”
Mt. 26:25 “Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, ‘Yes, it is you.’”
John 13:26 “Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.
John 13:27 “As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.”
John 18:2 “Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
Mt. 26:36 “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over they and pray.’”
Mk. 14:32 “They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’
Mt. 26:37 “He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.”
Mk 14:33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.”
John 18:1 “When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.”
Mt. 26:49 “Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him.”
Mt. 26:50 “Jesus replied, ‘Friend, do what you came for.’”
Mk. 14:45 “Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him.”
Luke 22:47 “While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,
Lk. 22:48 “but Jesus asked him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
John 18:3 “So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.”
John 18:5 “‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ they replied. ‘I am he,’ Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)
As I put this together, the idea occurs to me that Judas was embezzling money, as John lets us know (12:5), and saw more than a year’s wages being poured out in the perfume. Was Judas trying to put money back into the bag, figuring that he could hide his malfeasance, if he could just get enough coin to cover it up? Was it out of need to replenish this money that Judas went to the chief priests? I do think Judas thought he could betray Jesus, hide it from his fellow disciples, and use the money to cover his theft. Well did Jesus remind us that we cannot serve both God and mammon! Judas, weak in coveting, most likely allowed that weakness to cause a far worse crime in attempting to cover it all up.
McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 102256-102259). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.
My name is Judas
My name is Judas
My Lord I did betray
With a kiss upon his cheek
I gave my lord away
I was forgiven
But I could not bear the shame
So I hung myself in the potter's field
Judas is my name
Sung by Claire Lynch