Six days before the Passover,1 Jesus arrived at Bethany,2 where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served,3 while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.
Then Mary took about a pinta of pure nard, an expensive perfume;4 she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair.5 And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him,6 objected,
"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages.b "
He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag,7 he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7"Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.88You will always have the poor among you,9 but you will not always have me."9
Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.10