Mary Anointed Jesus in Bethany

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived (the man whom Jesus raised from the dead). There at Bethany they prepared dinner for him at the home of Simon the leper. Martha was serving, and Lazarus was one of those eating with him.

Then Mary took an alabaster jar of expensive ointment (a pound of pure nard) and came up to him as he reclined at the table. She broke the jar and poured the ointment over his head. She anointed his feet and wiped his feet with her hair. The house soon was filled with the aroma of the ointment.

When his disciples saw what she did, [they] soon became indignant and said to themselves, “Why is this ointment being wasted? This could have been sold for a considerable amount of money.” So they began to rebuke her. Judas Iscariot (who would later betray him) said, “Why wasn’t this ointment sold for a year’s wages, and the money given to the poor?” He didn’t say this because he was at all concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief and had charge of the money pouch and kept stealing what was put into it.

Jesus was aware of all this and said to them, “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering the woman? She has done a good thing for me. She has saved this ointment for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you and can help them whenever you want, but you won’t always have me. She has done what she could. In pouring out this ointment she has anointed my body for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever in the world this good news is proclaimed, what this woman has done will also be recounted in memory of her.”

Many of the Jews who knew he was there came not only because of Jesus but because they wanted to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. That is why the chief priests discussed how they might also kill Lazarus. On account of him a large number of Jews were leaving them and believing in Jesus.

Matt. 26:6–13, Mark 14:3–9, and John 12:1–112.

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