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The Farewell Dinner At Bethany
Bethany was a small village on the side of The Mount Of Olives, about an hour's walk from Jerusalem. It was the home town of Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, all of whom were close friends of Jesus. He often visited them, even once raising Lazarus from the dead (see The Lesson Of Lazarus). From His teachings, and the Holy Spirit that enabled them to "hear" what He was saying, they became aware that The Christ was going to be sacrificed as the Lamb of God. A few days before the Passover in which He would do so (see also The Messiah's Triumphal Entry Into The Temple), Lazarus, Martha and Mary hosted a farewell dinner for The Messiah in their home.
"Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany"
Although they had visited and eaten together before, this occasion was different. While even the apostles did not yet fully realize that the Christ was going to be killed in a few days (see God Forbid, Lord!), Lazarus' sister Mary did understand.
"12:1 Then Jesus six days before the Passover [see Christ's Passover; listen also to the Sermon Christ's Passover: The Death And Birth Of The Saviour from our Sermons page] came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
Despicable Judas (see Was Judas Necessary?) objected to the anointing.
12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
The raising of Lazarus from the dead had become a well-known event. Many became believers because of it. But to those whose minds were clouded with evil, they planned to murder Lazarus because of the miracle, along with the Messiah himself (the Bible record does not state whether they got Lazarus, but it's likely that they did; see also The Conspirators).
12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
Fact Finder: What was anointing done with?