Six days before the Passover celebrations began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him.
Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and poured it over Jesus’ feet. The she wiping his feet with her hair and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would later betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” But he didn’t say this because he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.
Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
When the people heard of Jesus’ arrival at Bethany, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, who Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided that they must kill Lazarus, too, for because of him many of the people were deserting them and going over to Jesus.
The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!”
Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on the colt of a donkey.”
His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was the fulfillment of a prophecy, but after Jesus had entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him.
The crowd that had been with Jesus when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead reported what they had seen. Therefore, a great many people, hearing of this miraculous sign, went out to meet him.
Then the Pharisees said to each other, “Look, there’s nothing we can do! Everyone has gone after him!”