Thursday after Judica
Scripture: St. John 12:1-19 (NKJV)
12:1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii 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 money box; and he used to take what was put in it.
7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”
9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
“The King of Israel!”
14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”
Today we look at the events that took place on the Friday before the one called “Good.” Jesus was at Bethany where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived. There was a dinner given for Jesus, who was seated next to Lazarus. One can only imagine the joy this family felt after his recent resurrection. To honor Jesus, Mary then does something extraordinary: “Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil” (v. 3). But rather that celebrate Mary’s offering, Judas chastises the act: “But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (vs. 4-6). The Gospel writer reveals Judas’ hypocrisy. He put up a façade to make himself look like he cared for others, but his heart really only cared for himself.
The lesson here is not “how to look for hypocrites,” since only God can judge the heart. Rather, let us look into our own heart—that we may recognize and confess the sin within us, and amend our sinful lives.
Prayer: Dear Father in Heaven, thank you calling us to faith through the means of Holy Baptism. As that faith is challenged daily by the many means of Satan, keep us firm in our Baptismal faith through Your Word and Supper, that we may perform righteous deeds that are motivated by a clean heart; In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.