Studies In The Book Of John


John 12:1-11


John 12:1-3 – “(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.”


A. The time of the Passover is at hand and Jesus is the target of hateful Jews (John 11:55-57).

1. Soon (six days), they will be involved in the feast of the Passover (Ezekiel 45:21 and Luke 22:1).

2. This feast has not yet begun (John 13:1).

B. Martha and Mary are being hospitable to Jesus (Luke 8:1-3, Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:2, and I Peter 4:9).

1. Martha had once allowed hospitality to become too great of a concern (Luke 10:38-42).

2. Some confuse what Mary did being hospitable with a woman who was a sinner that did a similar thing to Jesus (Luke 7:36-50).


John 12:4-8  – “(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.”


A. Judas wanted to know why this ointment was used on Jesus instead of sold to help the poor (Matthew 19:21).

1. A similar occurrence happens again, but different in that Jesus’ head rather than feet were cared for.  Additionally, the time is stated to be different and a woman’s hair was not used to wipe his feet (Matthew 16:6-13 and Mark 14:1-9).

2. Judas only cared that the ointment was not sold because he wanted to steal the money.  He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15).

3. Any time brethren care for the Lord’s money, there needs to be an accounting process in place (II Corinthians 8:16-21).

B. Jesus wanted Mary left alone, because what she was doing was for Him going forward to His burial (cf. Luke 23:50-24:1).

1. Jesus established that He was going to die and not be with them any more (John 13:33).

2. On the other hand, they will have plenty of other opportunities to help the poor (Galatians 2:9-10).


John 12:9-11 – “(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.”


A. When people knew where Jesus was they often came to see Him (Matthew 4:25, Luke 5:15, Matthew 15:30-31, Mark 2:1-2, Mark 3:7, and John 6:2).

1. This time though, they’re also coming to see Lazarus as seeing one raised from the dead is powerful (Matthew 9:18-26 and Acts 9:36-42).

2. Miracles will draw crowds (Acts 3:10-11).

3. People moved, temporarily and for the wrong reasons at times (John 6:14; John 6:26-27; John 6:60-66) when they saw evidence of a true miracle (John 2:23).

B. The chief priest wanted to kill Lazarus because people believed on Jesus when they saw that Lazarus was truly raised from the dead (I Thessalonians 2:14-16).

1. If someone rejects the law of the Lord, a person raised from the dead won’t move him or her either (Luke 16:31).

2. The false religious leaders of the first century were envious when people wanted to hear the truth (Acts 13:44-45).



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