Six days before the Passover ceremonies began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus -- the man he had raised from the dead.
A dinner was prepared in Jesus' honor. Martha served, and Lazarus sat at the table with him.
Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus' feet with it and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with fragrance.
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples -- the one who would betray him -- said,
"That perfume was worth a small fortune. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor."
Not that he cared for the poor -- he was a thief who was in charge of the disciples' funds, and he often took some for his own use.
Jesus replied, "Leave her alone. She did it in preparation for my burial.
You will always have the poor among you, but I will not be here with you much longer."
When all the people heard of Jesus' arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead.
Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too,
for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.