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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.

Mount of Olives

"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.

12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment." (John 12:1-3 KJV)

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?

12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

12:7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always." (John 12:4-8 KJV)

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.

12:10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; 12:11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus." (John 12:9-11 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was anointing done with?
See Ointment

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