A Striking Contrast
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A Striking Contrast

John 12:1-11  (ID: 1241)

Worship should be characterized by devotion rather than desertion, faith rather than fear, and humility rather than hostility. Jesus came to Mary’s defense when she was criticized for breaking a priceless jar of ointment on the feet of Jesus and unbinding her hair to dry them. From John 12, Alistair Begg helps us understand the extravagant nature of Mary’s worship in contrast to the underlying greed of Judas and the murderous jealousy of the chief priests.


Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany

1Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3Mary therefore took a pound1 of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii2 and given to the poor?” 6He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it3 for the day of my burial. 8For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

9When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus4 was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

Copyright © 2020, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.