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Lesson # John 12:4-8
Study Material - John 12:4-8
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
4 Then [oun] saith [lego] one [heis] of [ek] his [autos] disciples [mathetes] , Judas [Ioudas] Iscariot [Iskariotes] , Simon's [Simon] son, which [ho] should [mello] betray [paradidomi] him [autos] ,
5 Why [diati] was [piprasko] not [ou] this [touto] ointment [muron] sold [piprasko] for three hundred [triakosioi] pence [denarion] , and [kai] given [didomi] to the poor [ptochos] ?
6 [de] This [touto] he said [epo] , not [ou] that [hoti] he [autos] cared [melo] for [peri] the poor [ptochos] ; but [alla] because [hoti] he was [en] a thief [kleptes] , and [kai] had [echo] the bag [glossokomon] , and [kai] bare [bastazo] what was put therein [ballo] .
7 Then [oun] said [epo] Jesus [Iesous] , Let [aphiemi] her [autos] alone [aphiemi] : against [eis] the day [hemera] of my [mou] burying [entaphiasmos] hath she kept [tereo] this [autos] .
8 For [gar] the poor [ptochos] always [pantote] ye have [echo] with [meta] you [heautou] ; but [de] me [eme] ye have [echo] not [ou] always [pantote] . KJV-Interlinear
4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5 'Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?' 6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. 7 Jesus therefore said, 'Let her alone, in order that she may keep it for the day of My burial. 8 'For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me.' NASB
This appears to be an evening ritual which Mary has taken upon herself to perform. Why do we conclude this? This is the sixth day prior to Passover. In Matt. 26 we read of a similar event two days prior to Passover. On that date, the bottle containing the expensive oil (see Mk 14) is dropped by Mary and broken. All the oil is lost.
Mary is anointing Jesus in her own special way and as a representation of the preparation for His burial. See the study at Matt. 26:12. We have already studied the significance of the oil and its use in the preparation of the dead for burial. So we can reasonably assume that Mary knew what Jesus' purpose was in this coming to earth. Martha has already acknowledged He was the Son of God and sent by the Father.
The book of Matthew looks to the person of Christ as the King, and presents Him as such throughout the book. John on the other hand looks at Christ from the perspective of His deity. Christ is God.
Here we have Mary who understands this and she also understands His purpose and mission in this first advent. Judas is a self centered thief, as John states. He cares nothing about Jesus, cares nothing about the oil, cares nothing about the people who might be helped if the oil were sold.
Judas was not on his own when he complained, as Mark explains that the other apostles went along with the complaint. So we have a contrast of attitudes and understanding between Mary, the sister of Lazarus, and the apostles, and Judas.
Judas rejects Christ outright. He is an opportunist, only in this for the money. He is susceptible to the gossip and rumor of some reward (implied but never stated) for the one who can turn Jesus in, to the priests. He will get his payment soon (those thirty pieces of silver).
The rest of the apostles are sort of clueless. They have all the facts, but they just have not connected the dots. They argue amongst themselves as to who among them will be the greatest in heaven, yet they seem to have forgotten the former stories of Joseph, of Daniel, of Moses, and others who have accomplished many great feats of faith, while they, the apostles haven't really done anything in life other than walking around with Jesus for a couple of years now, healing people and eating fishes and bread.
When Jesus gets arrested, they will all fade into the fog. Little sheep without their shepherd. They will scatter and become lost and uncertain as to what they should do next.
As for the oil. Certainly it could have been sold, but man cannot sell off everything and hope to help poor folks, or even to cure poverty. That will never happen so long as man runs things on earth. Everyone's single answer to their circumstances in life is Jesus Christ. First to believe in Him and be saved, and then subsequent to that belief, to learn doctrine and to grow up spiritually and to become complete within their soul. Of course charity is a bona fide function and our responsibility, but that topic is not in view here.
Christ was not always with them back in their day, nor will he always be with us in our current life time. We all face death sooner or later, and while we are alive, then we have our opportunity to commune with Christ (through learning Bible doctrine). For once we die, then we lose that opportunity to grow up spiritually in this life.
But you say, 'I can just learn all of this Bible stuff when I get to heaven!' And that is true. You will learn it all there and quickly, but that does not qualify you for eternal rewards. Only investing what God has given you here on earth in this life will qualify you for those above and beyond blessings of eternity. And what has He given us? Time, doctrine, and volition. These three if you pursue them with a passion as you would a very steamy intimate relationship (Song of Solomon), then you will complete yourself in this life, you will be available to God for His use of you in history (God only uses prepared believers), and you will have a great life while here on earth and an even greater 'beyond imagination' life in eternity.
The oil is of no consequence. The price of the oil is of no consequence. What is important is our support and study of Bible doctrine. God supports us all. Our circumstances are irrelevant.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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