The act of anointing Jesus with oil is a poignant moment in the biblical narrative, symbolizing reverence and devotion.
But who was the woman behind this significant gesture?
In this article, we will delve into the accounts found in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to uncover the name of the woman who anointed Jesus with oil.
What Was The Name Of The Woman Who Anointed Jesus With Oil?
The Setting at Bethany
The story unfolds in the town of Bethany, where Jesus was a guest at the home of a man named Simon, who had been healed of leprosy by Jesus. Martha, the sister of Lazarus, served during the dinner, and Lazarus was also present, reclining at the table.
The Act of Anointing
During this gathering, a woman arrived with an alabaster flask of expensive ointment. This aromatic oil was a precious possession, and she intended to use it in a remarkable way.
To find out the name of this woman, we need to consult the accounts of this event in the four Gospels.
The Gospel of Matthew
In the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 26:6-13), the woman is not mentioned by name. However, it describes how she poured the ointment on Jesus’ head as he reclined at the table.
The Gospel of Mark
The Gospel of Mark (Mark 14:3-9) also does not reveal her name but narrates the event in a similar manner, highlighting the extravagance of the act and the disciples’ reaction.
The Gospel of Luke
In the Gospel of Luke (Luke 7:36-50), we find another account of a woman anointing Jesus, but this takes place in the house of a Pharisee, not in Bethany. This suggests that there may have been multiple instances of women anointing Jesus with oil, but it does not identify the woman in question.
The Gospel of John
Finally, the Gospel of John (John 12:1-8) provides us with the name we seek. The woman who anointed Jesus with oil in Bethany is identified as Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. John’s account also emphasizes the costly nature of the perfume and Judas Iscariot’s objections to the extravagant act.
- Why did Mary anoint Jesus with oil? Mary anointed Jesus with oil as an act of profound devotion and love, recognizing him as the Messiah.
- Was the ointment used by Mary valuable? Yes, the ointment Mary used was very expensive, emphasizing the significance of her gesture.
- What was Judas Iscariot’s objection to Mary’s act? Judas objected to the perceived waste of the expensive ointment, suggesting it could have been sold to help the poor.
- How does this event relate to Jesus’ impending crucifixion? This event foreshadows Jesus’ impending crucifixion and burial, as he mentions that Mary has anointed him for his burial.
- What is the significance of anointing in biblical times? Anointing was a symbol of consecration and blessing, often associated with the setting apart of individuals for a sacred purpose.
In conclusion, the woman who anointed Jesus with oil in Bethany was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, as revealed in the Gospel of John. This act of devotion and reverence is a profound moment in the biblical narrative, symbolizing the deep love and respect that many had for Jesus during his ministry.