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which mary anointed jesus with oil


In the realm of biblical history, there’s an event about anointing. Which Mary did it? It has sparked debate for centuries.

We find ourselves in the city of Bethany, where a dinner for Jesus is being held. Mary is there. Driven by devotion, she brings an alabaster jar of expensive oil. Carefully, she pours it on Jesus’ head as an honor.

Many are shocked and disapprove. They question if it’s appropriate and wasteful. But Jesus defends Mary, understanding her gesture as anticipation of his death.

We learn that it’s Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus. Through her relationship with Jesus, she was compelled to offer this veneration. Pouring oil on Jesus may seem strange, but hey, at least it wasn’t bacon grease!

Background on Mary anointing Jesus with oil

Mary’s anointing of Jesus with oil is a momentous event in biblical history. This act symbolized her deep reverence and love for Jesus. At a dinner held in his honor at the home of Simon the leper, Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair.

The perfume was made from pure nard, a pricey substance extracted from Himalayan plant roots. It was known for its heavenly scent. The disciples were shocked by Mary’s lavish gesture. Judas Iscariot criticized her for wasting valuable perfume that could have been sold to benefit the poor. However, Jesus defended her, acknowledging her act as a preparation for his burial.

This incident foreshadowed Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. Mary’s anointing signified her recognition of him as the Messiah and her acceptance of his impending sacrifice for humanity’s salvation. The importance of the event? Be thankful it wasn’t a Mary with a terrible taste in essential oils.

Importance of the event

Mary’s anointing of Jesus with oil held great importance in biblical history. It showed her profound love and devotion to him. Plus, it foreshadowed his death and burial; Mary’s use of precious perfume showed her willingness to sacrifice for Jesus. This act revealed her understanding of Jesus’ mission and commitment to support him.

The anointing of Jesus also served as a revelation to all present. It sparked conversations about his role as the Messiah and the challenges he would face. The aroma of oil filled the room with reverence and anticipation.

This event’s lessons are valuable for us today. Like Mary, we can show our love and devotion to Jesus through sacrifice and service. We can volunteer for charities or help those in need. This reflects our gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice and embodies his teachings of love and compassion.

We can also cultivate a mindset of humility and gratitude. Acknowledging that everything we have is a gift from God helps us appreciate Jesus’ love and cherish our relationship with him.

Analysis of the significance of the act

The act of anointing Jesus with oil has great significance. It symbolizes honor, dedication, and devotion towards Jesus. Let’s explore its meaning.

We can break it down in a table:

SymbolismRepresents love, reverence, and recognition of Jesus as the Messiah
SpiritualIndicates a deep connection with God and faith in His divine plan
PreparationShows upcoming sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus
LeadershipHighlights Jesus’ position as the chosen one and leader of his disciples

These details reveal the profound significance of anointing Jesus with oil. It symbolizes more than a gesture; it affirms Jesus’ divine purpose and faith.

An interesting fact is that Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus with oil, according to the Gospel of John (12:3). This source shows Mary’s strong devotion to Jesus, further emphasizing the impact of her actions.

Different interpretations of the event

The anointing of Jesus with oil is a big deal in bible stories. It has many different meanings, so let’s look at the different points of view.

One view is that this was a symbolic act showing honour and respect for Jesus’ divine nature.

Others think it was preparing Jesus for his death and burial.

Other interpretations say it was a prophetic gesture, predicting Jesus as king and messiah.

These different interpretations give us an interesting look at the event.

It’s worth pointing out that Mary’s anointing of Jesus with oil has a long history. Anointing was used in ceremonies and rituals, showing consecration and choosing people with divine authority.

Even today, people still debate which oil Mary used to anoint Jesus. It’s more controversial than a family Monopoly game!

Impact and legacy of the event

The mysterious event of the anointing has left an indelible imprint on history. It has been remembered as a show of devotion and love to Jesus. Its impact can be seen in various aspects, from religious significance to artistic representation.

Religious Significance: The anointing symbolizes dedication and commitment to Jesus. It signifies a deep level of respect and honor, depicting faith in his divine nature.

Artistic Representation: The event has been depicted in numerous paintings, sculptures, and other artistic expressions. Mary anointing Jesus has become an iconic image in religious art and continues to inspire artists.

This remarkable story serves as a reminder of the importance of faith and sacrificial love. While the mystery of which Mary anointed Jesus with oil remains debated, it’s clear that it has left a lasting effect on countless individuals throughout history and continues to resonate in contemporary society.


Debate about the identity of the Mary who anointed Jesus with oil has been a topic amongst scholars. Some think it was Mary Magdalene, while others think it was Mary of Bethany. They both had a part in Jesus’ life, yet the details of the event remain unclear.

Mary Magdalene is often linked to the anointing, as she is mentioned in the Gospels in connection with wiping his feet with her hair. Yet, there is no mention of her using oil at this time.

Contrastingly, Mary of Bethany is depicted in the Gospel of John as anointing Jesus’ feet with pricey perfume, at a dinner in Bethany before his crucifixion. Scholars suggest this may be the same event mentioned in other Gospels, where a woman anointed Jesus’ head with oil.

What’s interesting is that certain ancient traditions regard Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany as one and the same person. These traditions point to her being a loyal follower of Jesus, who comprehended his teachings deeply.

In conclusion, when considering biblical stories, it is wise to draw on various sources and interpretations for a full understanding.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is the Mary that anointed Jesus with oil?

The Mary who anointed Jesus with oil is traditionally believed to be Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

2. Where is the story of Mary anointing Jesus with oil found in the Bible?

The story of Mary anointing Jesus with oil is found in the New Testament in the Gospel of John, specifically in John 12:1-8.

3. Why did Mary anoint Jesus with oil?

Mary anointed Jesus with oil as an act of love and devotion. It was a way for her to honor and show her deep reverence for him.

4. What kind of oil did Mary use to anoint Jesus?

In the Bible, it is mentioned that Mary used a precious and expensive perfume called pure nard to anoint Jesus. Nard was an aromatic oil extracted from a plant found in the Himalayas.

5. How did the disciples react to Mary anointing Jesus with oil?

One of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, objected to Mary’s action, arguing that the oil could have been sold to help the poor. However, Jesus defended Mary’s act and praised her for her devotion.

6. What is the significance of Mary anointing Jesus with oil?

Mary’s act of anointing Jesus with oil symbolizes her recognition of him as the Messiah and her understanding of his impending death and burial. It serves as a foreshadowing of Jesus’ sacrificial death and burial. | Website | + posts

Ethan Davis, the founder of Jesus Salvation, transformed his life from hardship to faith after a significant encounter at age 32. After earning a Communications degree from Kansas State University, he established to help others towards salvation, sharing inspiring stories, scriptures, and prayers.