Two days before the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the chief priests and teachers of the law were planning how to arrest Jesus quietly and kill him. “But not during the Passover,” they said, “or the people may riot.”
Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. During the meal, a woman came into the room with an alabaster jar of perfume made with pure nard. She broke the jar open and poured the perfume over his head.
Some of those sitting at the table were indignant. “Why are you wasting such expensive perfume?” they demanded. “It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor!” And they rebuked her harshly.
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She’s done a beautiful thing to me. You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want, but you won’t always have me. She has done what she could – she’s anointed my body with perfume in advance of its burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted and promised to pay him well, so Judas began to look for an opportunity to hand him over.