The Gospel of John 12:1-11 (Did Jesus really not care about the poor?) – Angelic Wars
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The Gospel of John 12:1-11 (Did Jesus really not care about the poor?)


 

We move to John 12:1-11 where Jesus rebukes Judas about his insincere love for the poor.

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Why did Jesus rebuke Judas for suggesting that the money could have been used to feed the poor?  Was Jesus putting himself before the poor, thus having to compassion for them?
  2. Why did the Pharisees want to kill Lazarus?  How could they justify this?



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1 comment
Rick says May 8, 2024

1. Why did Jesus rebuke Judas for suggesting that the money could have been used to feed the poor? Was Jesus putting himself before the poor, thus having to compassion for them?

Jesus, again, was projecting his imminent death, as he did so many times in this Gospel. To the second question, Jesus did have compassion for the poor. This was shown in other instances in the Bible: ‘”Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”’ (Matthew 19:21), (Mark 10:21)

2. Why did the Pharisees want to kill Lazarus? How could they justify this?

The answer is in the last line, “…11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.”

I would have to assume that Lazarus was telling people about Jesus as the Son of God and his (Lazarus) raising from the dead. This alone would label Lazarus as a blasphemer, subjecting him to a penalty of death. “Anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.” (Leviticus 24:16)

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