Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 48

John 12:1-11
1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
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.

Background Information

From today’s perspective Mary’s actions seem rather extreme. Please keep in mind that it was customary to wash the feet of one’s guests in Jesus' day. Such foot washing was a routine act of hospitality. This practice had been a tradition for hundreds of years. Mary's use of tears and hair rather than water and a towel showed great appreciation for the spiritual impact Jesus had on her own life.

See John 11:1-46 (Lesson 46 in this study) to learn more about Lazarus.

Related Scriptures
1 Samuel 25:41(Illustrates foot washing in ancient Jewish culture)
Matthew 26:14-16 (Where Judas' attitude toward money eventually took him)
Luke 7:36-50 (A similar, but apparently separate, incident earlier in Jesus’ ministry)
Luke 10:38-42
John 13:3-18
1 Timothy 5:9-10 (A reference to foot washing as an act of service and hospitality)

1. Compare this text with Luke 10:38-42. Do you see any similarity in the roles of Martha and her siblings in these two passages?
2. Why might Mary’s washing of Jesus’ feet not have seemed as strange to the people at the dinner as it would to us today?
3. Why was Judas unhappy about Mary’s act of devotion?
4. What do we learn about Judas’ heart that might help explain his later sins?
5. Did Jesus condemn Mary for giving something expensive to honor Him?
6. What might this Scripture say to those who think about giving up valuable things or large sums of money for the cause of Christ today?
7. What person other than Jesus did people come to this meal to see?
8. How did Jesus’ enemies respond to the miracle He had done for Lazarus?
9. a. Whose power had Jesus used in raising Lazarus? b. Who were the chief priests rejecting when they sought to kill Jesus and Lazarus?
10. Jesus gives eternal life to those who trust Him today. Can you think of ways in which Jesus enemies still try to fight Him by attacking those to whom He
      gives life?

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