1.Jesus came to Bethany. We see that they judged too rashly who thought that Christ would not come to the feast, (2) (Joh_11:56;) and this, reminds us that we ought not to be so hasty as not to wait patiently and quietly, till the season arrive, which is unknown to us. Now Jesus came first to Bethany, that thence he might go three days afterwards to Jerusalem. Meanwhile, he intended to give Judas a fit time and place for betraying him, that he might present himself, ready to be sacrificed, at the appointed time; for he is not ignorant of what is to take place, but willingly comes forward to be sacrificed.
Having come to Bethany six days before the passover, he remained there four days; which may easily be inferred from Matthew and Mark. On what day the banquet was made for him, at which he was anointed by Mary, John does not state; but it seems probable that it took place not long after he had arrived. There are some who think that, the anointing mentioned by Matthew (Mat_26:7) and Mark (Mar_14:3) is different from what is mentioned here; but they are mistaken. They have been led to adopt this view by a calculation of time, because the two Evangelists, (Mat_26:2; Mar_14:1,) before relating that Christ was anointed, speak of two days as having elapsed. But the solution is easy, and may be given in two ways. For John does not say that Christ was anointed on the first day after his arrival; so that this might happen even when he was preparing to depart. Yet, as I have already said, there is another conjecture which is more probable, that he was anointed one day, at least, or two days, before his departure; for it is certain that Judas had made a bargain with the priests, before Christ sent two of his disciples to make ready the passover. (3) Now, at the very least, one day must have intervened. The Evangelists add, that he
sought a convenient opportunity for betraying Christ,
after having received the bribe. When, therefore, after mentioning two days, they add the history of the anointing, they place last in the narrative what happened first. And the reason is, that after having related the words of Christ,
You know that after two days the Son of man shall be betrayed,
they now add — what had been formerly omitted — in what manner and on what occasion he was betrayed by his disciple. There is thus a perfect agreement in the account of his having been anointed at Bethany.