Meal at Bethany

(Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8)

The Saturday before Jesus died, He came to the small town of Bethany. It was the hometown of Martha and Mary and their brother Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. They made a supper for Him at the house of Simon the leper. While He was eating, Mary brought a jar made of alabaster stone. It was filled with an expensive, sweet-smelling ointment called nard. She broke the jar open and poured the ointment over Jesus' head and rubbed it on His feet. The whole house was filled with the sweet smell.

But some of Jesus' disciples were upset and said to themselves, "Why was this ointment wasted like this?" Judas Iscariot said out loud, "Why wasn't this ointment sold for 300 silver coins and the money given to the poor?" 300 silver coins was a lot of money; for a common man it was a whole year's wages. But Judas did not care about giving all this money to the poor. You see, he was the one who kept the disciples' money box, and he used to steal money out of it for himself.

Jesus then told His disciples, "Leave her alone; why are you giving this woman a bad time? She has done a beautiful thing to me. You will always have the poor people among you, and whenever you want, you can do good to them. But you will not always have me. When she poured this ointment on my body, she did it to get my body ready to be buried. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in her memory."

But this made Judas mad, so he went to the Jewish leaders to ask what they would give him if he turned Jesus over to them. They agreed to give him 30 silver coins. So he started looking for a chance to turn Jesus over to them.

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