Monday 25 March 2024

Bible Book:

Jesus said, 'Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.' (v. 7)

John 12:1-11 Monday 25 March 2024

Psalm 36


Today we embark on a week of Bible readings describing Jesus’ final journey to his death by crucifixion. It's an opportunity each year to contemplate these specific events and our response.

At the beginning of John chapter 12 Jesus returns to Bethany and to his friends Lazarus, Martha and Mary’s home. In the previous chapter Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead and it appears that Lazarus has become quite the celebrity (both a good and a bad thing). In other gospel accounts (Matthew 26:5-7) Jesus’ feet are anointed in the house of Simon the leper and the woman is unnamed, whereas in John’s account Jesus' feet are anointed by Mary, who was the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

It is the same Mary who was chastised by her sister for listening to Jesus (at his feet) instead of serving the food (Luke 10:38-42). We also hear about her when she heard that Jesus had arrived after the death of their brother Lazarus. She fell at Jesus' feet declaring “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32).

Mary it seems spent her encounters with Jesus at his feet displaying attentiveness. I’m using the word 'attentiveness' on purpose as its definition is “the trait of being observant and paying attention”. Jesus it appears was a close friend of the family and Mary would have had plenty of opportunities to observe both the words and actions of Jesus, which led her to her anointing his feet with incredibly expensive perfume – an extraordinarily extravagant act of generosity.

Judas Iscariot, who would later betray Jesus to the authorities asks why the perfume was not sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus’ responds in v.7 telling Judas not to be judgemental. This rebuttal of Judas’ judgement on Mary is consistent with Jesus’ other encounters where he clearly encourages people not to be judgemental of others. Jesus then continues to speak of his death and appears to imply that it is imminent and it will be a death where his body will not go through the ritual customs before burial.

To Ponder:

  • Judas’ reaction was quick and based on what he saw in that moment. How often do we make those same assumptions when judging someone else’s actions?
  • What situations do we find ourselves in where we can challenge unjust accusations aimed at others?
  • Where can we use the gift of attentiveness to respond with 'extraordinarily extravagant acts of generosity' to ourselves and others?


Lord Jesus, open our hearts and eyes to those suffering from injustice. Help us to challenge unjust accusations with kindness and compassion.With your extravagant love, transform us as we practise being non-judgemental about our own actions and the actions of others. Amen.

Bible notes author: Deacon Dawn Canham


Dawn Canham is a minister and has been based at The Lantern Methodist Church in Raynes Park and Wimbledon for the past six years. In partnership with The Lantern Arts Centre, the Lantern Church provides opportunities to explore faith and spirituality through the arts. Dawn enjoys painting, reading sci-fi and fantasy novels and attending local music gigs.

Previous Page Sunday 24 March 2024
Next Page Tuesday 26 March 2024