Sunday, January 10, 2010

I had a free day on Thursday so I spent a little time reading in the public library. I read John 12 according to the NIV with the help of Kostenberger's commentary.

There's a dinner at Bethany in Jesus' honor after the raising of Lazarus, a week before the Crucifixion. Mary anoints Jesus' feet with some costly perfume and "the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." [John 12:3]

Judas objects to the waste and, Kostenberger observes that:
"Jesus' response is as startling (given the festive nature of the occasion) as it is firm. Clearly, Jesus' looming death weighs heavily on his mind." [p. 363]
Jesus' words in Matthew and Mark suggest that the anointing prepares his body for burial. (Matt. 26:12; Mk. 14:8).

Without questioning whether the anointing happened in history, I wondered whether the Evangelist might also be describing an experience of the eucharistic meal: the fragrance of Jesus' sacrificial death pervades ... the room, the elements, the assembly.

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