It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”
While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”
Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
Reflect & Discuss
- Sit at the table and watch this unfold. Smell the fragrant ointment. Feel the tension settle in the room. Hear the tone of the voices. What strikes you most about this scene?
- What does Jesus mean by his response to Judas?
- Why do you think Judas betrays Jesus?
- From the perspective of some at the table, this woman was throwing away what could have been used—even for good purposes. In what ways could and should our lives look like they are being “wasted” on Jesus?
- for the value of our opportunities, abilities, and possessions to not be measured in dollars but rather in how they help us to love Christ and love others
- for the poor who are always with us, that we would care for them with the mercy of Jesus
- for anything we have to share