Holy Week: The Anointing of Jesus

Holy Week: The Anointing of Jesus


In the events of Holy Week, there are two
different recorded occasions when a woman anoints either the feet or head of Jesus.
Many scholars combine both events because of their similarities; however, by studying
them as two separate events, we are able to learn of some powerful symbolism in the possible
timing of these events. The first anointing, as recorded by John,
took place on Saturday, six days before the Passover, in an unnamed home in Bethany by
Mary, the sister to Martha and Lazarus wherein she anointed only the feet of Jesus. The second
anointing, as recorded by Matthew and Mark, took place on Wednesday of Holy Week, two
days before Passover, in the home of Simon the leper in Bethany by an unnamed woman who
anointed only the head of Jesus. Both women used ointments valuing 300 or more pence,
and both women were criticized by a disciple for their acts of service towards Jesus. To understand the significance of these anointings,
we first must understand that the word Messiah in Hebrew, and Christ in Greek both mean ‘the
anointed one.’ In other words, Jesus Christ would actually mean Jesus the anointed. In
the Old Testament, there were three groups of people referred to as being anointed, that
of prophets, priests, and kings. By following the chronology of John and placing
the anointing on Saturday, it may be that John was trying to foreshadow how Jesus, being
anointed the day before the triumphal entry, was symbolically being anointed as the king
of Israel. Remember that one of the reasons it was so significant that Jesus rode into
Jerusalem on a donkey was because when Solomon was recognized as the king of Israel, he likewise
rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. If we follow the chronology of Mark and Matthew
and place the anointing by the unnamed woman on Wednesday, the day before his Last Supper,
it may be that Mark and Matthew were trying to show that Jesus was being anointed as the
great High Priest, who would intercede on our behalf as he entered the garden of Gethsemane.
The high priest wore a breastplate with 12 stones, and two shoulder stones engraven with
the names of the 12 tribes of Israel representing that Israel was always to be near his heart,
and that he was to carry the burdens of Israel upon his shoulders at all times. What a perfect
description of Christ while in Gethsemane when he took our sins and sorrows upon himself. It is also interesting to compare the anointings
by the two women and the washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus during the Last
Supper. All three took place during a dinner. All three events are criticized; in the Gospel
of John Judas criticizes Mary, in Matthew and Mark an unnamed disciple criticizes the
woman, and in John during the Last Supper, Peter criticizes Jesus for washing the feet.
I can’t help but wonder that if while Peter’s feet were washed, he thought back five days
before of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus. Perhaps he protested, in part, because he
did not feel worthy to have a similar honor bestowed upon him. Was there only one woman that anointed Jesus
during Holy Week? We simply cannot tell from recorded scripture. What we do know is that
Mary, and perhaps this unnamed woman, will always be remembered for the incredible service
they gave to their Lord and Master. A service, that perhaps, pointed to the Savior’s most
often used title, that of Christ, the anointed one.

11 thoughts on “Holy Week: The Anointing of Jesus”

  1. Because the disciples are still complaining about the use of the spikenard. It's the same woman.
    The events are the same. It's only recorded differently. I also believe that the anointing of Jesus in Luke is also the same account. In Luke it's the house of Simon.

    It's the same woman, the same anointing

  2. JESUS WAS ANOINTED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD (HOLY SPIRIT) WHEN HE WAS BAPTIZED BY JOHN (THE HIGH PRIEST AND THE HIGHEST PROPHET IN THAT TIME ACCORDING TO GOD). IT IS NOT BY OIL

  3. This video is misleading and only have lots of speculations. JESUS IS CALLED THE ANOINTED ONE BECAUSE HE WAS ANOINTED WITH HOLY SPIRIT(SPIRIT OF GOD). THE ANOINTING OF OIL IS USELESS.

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