Jesus anointed at Bethany
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. ‘Why this waste?’ they asked. 9 ‘This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.’
10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.’
- Matthew 26:11 See Deut. 15:11.
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
(Matthew 26:6–13; Luke 7:36–50; John 12:1–8)
3 While Jesus was in Bethany reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper,b a woman came with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke open the jar and poured it on Jesus’ head.
4 Some of those present, however, expressed their indignation to one another: “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for over three hundred denariic and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her.
6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone; why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful deed to Me. 7 The poor you will always have with you,d and you can help them whenever you want. But you will not always have Me. 8 She has done what she could to anoint My body in advance of My burial. 9 And truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
3 b Aramaic Simon the Potter or Simon the Jar Maker
5 c A denarius was customarily a day’s wage for a laborer; see Matthew 20:2.
7 d See Deuteronomy 15:11.
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
- Luke 7:41 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).
Mary Anoints Jesus
(Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; Luke 7:36–50)
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, the hometown of Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 So they hosted a dinner for Jesus there. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took about a pinta 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.
4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was going to betray Him, asked, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denariib and the money given to the poor?” 6 Judas 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 take from what was put into it.
7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “She has kept this perfume in preparation for the day of My burial. 8 The poor you will always have with you,c but you will not always have Me.”
3 a Greek a litra ; that is, approximately 12 ounces or 340 grams
5 b A denarius was customarily a day’s wage for a laborer; see Matthew 20:2.
8 c See Deuteronomy 15:11.
The way these two women anointed Jesus with no sexual connotation should echo how a woman should often “anoint” her husband.