Friday, July 20, 2012


I noticed there is some disagreement between biblical harmonisers over the number of anointing of Jesus recorded in the Gospels.  Some believe all four Gospels record a single event, while others see Luke's description as a separate incident (Mt. 26:6-13; Mk. 14:3-9; Lk. 7:36-50; Jn. 12:1-11).  I am not sure if it really makes much of a difference, but I am curious, so here goes.

The Location:  At the house of a Pharisee named Simon, who had been a leper (Mt. 26:6; Mk. 14:3; Lk. 7:36, 40).  John's Gospel seems to suggest it was at the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary (Jn. 12:1-2).

The Woman:  Mary is named as the woman in John's Gospel (12:3), but the other three simply say "a woman" (Mt. 26:7; Mk. 14:3; Lk. 7:37). 

The Anointing:  Two of the Gospels mention that she anointed His head (Mt. 26:7; Mk. 14:3), while the other two say she anointed His feet (Lk. 7:38; Jn. 12:3).  All four describe the precious material as being an "ointment" (Mt. 26:7; Mk. 14:3; Lk. 7:37; Jn. 12:3).  Three mention that it was in a box (Mt. 26:7; Mk. 14:3; Lk. 7:37), while John simply says it was "a pound" (12:3).  Its value was said to be "300 pence" (Mk. 14:5; Jn. 12:5), Matthew says the ointment "could have been sold for much" (Mt. 26:9), and Luke does not mention its value.

The Message:  Three state that her devotion was for His burial (Mt. 26:12; Mk. 14:8; Jn. 12:7), while Luke seems to be saying her action was more out of gratitude for she knew Jesus would forgive her sins (7:40-50). 

Since all four Gospels are Scripture, and therefore true, I believe each is a "witness" to a single event.  A Pharisee named Simon, a former leper from Bethany, had as his servant, Martha.  Lazarus was a guest, and Mary, their sister, was the repentant sinner.  Mary came uninvited, and showed her devotion to Jesus by anointed both His head and His feet with a very expensive ointment normally used for preparing a body for burial.  That the poor will always be with us, that Judas was a thief, and that Simon needed to learn to be more hospitable and not to judge, was the purpose of the Lord's visit.

All Scripture is truth; therefore it is impossible for it to contradict itself!     


No comments:

Post a Comment