The next morning, the group departs again, heading for Bethany. They reach the little town 6 days before the start of the Passover festival. Many of the townspeople are gathered in the center of town to await Jesus’ arrival. They all know what He did for Lazarus, raising him from the dead, and can’t wait to see what He will do next – maybe a miracle for each of them? A feast is prepared in Jesus’ honor at the home of a man named Simon whom Jesus had cured of leprosy. Many of the townspeople are in attendance, including Simon and Lazarus. Martha, Lazarus’ sister, serves the meal to the men. They are reclining at the table, enjoying the feast when Mary, Lazarus’ other sister, comes into the room holding a jar made from alabaster. The men look up in surprise – women do not customarily enter a room where men are dining unless they are serving, and this does not appear to be a jar full of food. Mary walks directly to Jesus, breaks the jar, and pours the contents over Jesus’ head and feet. Those in attendance gasp in astonishment as the room fills with the scent of pure nard, the most expensive perfume there is. Mary kneels at Jesus’ feet and wipes them with her hair.
Matthew 26:6-7, Mark 14:3, John 12:1-3