|Poussin, Sacrament of Penance|
Regardless of how many anointings there may actually have been, the fact that John on the one hand and Mark and Matthew on the other introduce them at different points in the story allows us, as readers, to consider two important aspects of Jesus’ role as “the anointed one.” In ancient Israel two figures were regularly anointed: the rightful king (1 Samuel 16: 13; 2 Samuel 2:4; 5:3) and the legitimate high priest (Exodus 40:13; Leviticus 6:20). The case of Elisha (1 Kings 19:16) and the suggestion of Psalm 105:15 indicates that prophets, too, could be anointed. Jesus has been functioning openly as a prophet throughout his ministry, which began with a symbolic anointing of the spirit at his baptism (see Luke 3:21–22; 4:18). But now as he prepared to enter Jerusalem for his final week, the important symbolism of an anointed king and an anointed priest came powerfully into play. (God So Loved the World, 133).
|BYU Jerusalem students in the garden of the Franciscan church at Bethany reading about the anointings of Jesus and reflecting on the faith and love of Mary and the unnamed woman|
|Churches and the mosque near the Tomb of Lazarus in modern Bethany|