Dinner in Bethany


Scripture will sometimes pack a lot of nuggets in a few short verses. In John 12, it says, Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany. This was just a few days before the crucifixion and Jesus wants to spend time with his friends, Lazarus, Mary and Martha. It is a time of eating and talking. Mary comes into the room and anoints Jesus’ feet with an expensive perfumed oil. She then dries his feet with her hair. There must have been much whispering around the room because Jesus said she did this for his burial. Judas was also in the middle of this powerful event, and asks why they didn’t sell the perfume as it was worth 300 days of wages. He says they could have sold it to give money to the poor, but scripture says “he didn’t care about the poor because he was a thief and had stolen money from Jesus.”

Large crowds had gathered outside of the house not only to see Jesus but also Lazarus who Jesus had raised from the dead. The Jews plotted to kill Jesus and Lazarus because many Jews were believing in Jesus because of Lazarus.

This story has it all. There is family time, a poignant moment with Mary anointing Jesus, Judas being ratted out as a thief and the bounty hunters circling to find a way to kill Jesus and Lazarus. All of this is done six days before Passover The feast where the Jews remember how the blood was put on the door posts to save them. How part of the Passover meal is the slaying of a perfect lamb presented in the meal. A time to remember their sin and to seek forgiveness and yet we see sin showing its ugly head. Jesus will die in a few days, but RESURRECTION will happen three days later. There is hope.

Author: Karen Epp

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