Great love

When Jesus had finished speaking to the crowds, he turned to his disciples.

“As you know,” he said, “the Feast of the Passover is beginning in two days time. It’s then that the Son of Man will be handed over and crucified.”

Meanwhile, the chief priests and the elders had gathered together in the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest. Here they made plans to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.

“But we’d better not do it during the festival,” they said, “or it might provoke a riot among the people.”

While Jesus was living in Bethany, he stayed at the house of Simon the Leper. During a meal, a woman came up to him at the table with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it on his head.

The disciples were indignant when they saw this.

“What a terrible waste!” they said. “That perfume could have been sold for a good price and the money given to the poor.”

“Why are you bothering this woman?” asked Jesus. “She’s done something really kind for me. You’ll always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she was unwittingly doing it to prepare me for burial. And I can assure you that, wherever the gospel is preached in the world, what she’s done will be told in remembrance of her.”

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to see the chief priests.

“What would give me,” he asked, “if I handed Jesus over to you?”

They gave him thirty pieces of silver, and from then on Judas kept looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

Matthew

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