Mary Anoints Jesus’s Feet
1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
The commentary for John 12:1–8 in the Church’s Institute of Religion New Testament Student Manual states:
“On the evening before Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, He ate supper in Bethany, and Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were there. Mary’s actions on this occasion demonstrated her deep love for the Savior, as explained by Elder Bruce R. McConkie: ‘Here sat the Lord of Heaven, in the house of His friends, as the hour of His greatest trials approached, with those who loved Him knowing He was soon to face betrayal and crucifixion. What act of love, of devotion, of adoration, of worship, could a mere mortal perform for Him who is eternal? Could a loved one do more than David had said the Good Shepherd Himself would do in conferring honor and blessing upon another, that is: “Thou anointest my head with oil”? ( Ps. 23:5 )’ (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:700).
“Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with costly ointment (300 pence was most of an average year’s wages) and then wiped His feet with her hair, underscoring the gratitude she felt for Him. Judas Iscariot, who would soon sell his soul to Lucifer, protested but only to try to cover up his own thievery. Jesus responded to Judas, ‘Let her alone; for she hath preserved this ointment until now, that she might anoint me in token of my burial’ (Joseph Smith Translation, John 12:7 [in John 12:7, footnote a ]). The spiritually attuned Mary had prepared for this hour.”
(New Testament Student Manual [Church Educational System manual, 2018], 238–39.)