12:3 very costly. The cost of the ointment was almost equal to the annual wages of a laborer (see note on Matthew 26:12).
12:3 the feet of Jesus. This act was similar to that of the sinful woman recorded in Luke 7:37-38. However, the time and place were quite different, as was the unnamed woman. Mary’s act of devotion is also described in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9, though her name was not given in these. The dinner was actually held in the house of Simon the leper (Mark 14:3). It is unlikely that Mary Magdalene (that is, Mary of Magdala, or Mary the Magdalene) could have either been Mary of Bethany or the unnamed woman of Luke 7:37-38 (Mary Magdalene appears immediately after in Luke 8:2).
12:5 pence. See note on John 6:7.
12:6 he was a thief. Thus Judas was dishonest and a false disciple all along. His act of betrayal, in return for money, was fully in character. He had evidently gone along with the disciples, thinking he would profit when Jesus established His kingdom and overthrew the Romans. When he finally saw this was not going to happen, he decided to get what he could for his trouble and betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
12:8 poor always. This could be taken as a fulfilled prophecy. No matter what scheme of government or economics has been tried throughout history, poverty has never been eliminated; this is as true today as in the days of Jesus.