It is now a mere six days before the Passover celebration would begin. Jesus is visiting Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. During the meal, Mary poured expensive perfume over Jesus’ feet, wiping it with her hair. Jesus notes that she did it “in preparation for my burial”. Did Mary knowingly do so? Mary has abandoned all reserve in her regard for Jesus. She is willing to give up an incredible fortune to honour Jesus. Judas, meanwhile grumbles at the cost of the perfume. Ostensibly, he is interested in the poor – but really, he was a petty thief: if he’d had that money, it would have been in his pocket, not on Jesus’ feet.
The whole meal is one of celebration for the man who had raised Lazarus from the dead – proof of his goodness. Mary thought him worthy. Martha served the food. (Her act of love?)
But the goodness of Jesus to Lazarus meant that the leading priests decided to kill him too – because of the draw he was for people believing in Jesus. Does following Jesus open us to the same antagonism as Jesus?
From Luke, we read that “Satan entered into Judas”, who discusses with the authorities the best way to betray Jesus. They “promised to give him money” – at least on some level, Judas seems to have been motivated by greed. Why would Judas betray someone as loving and gracious as Jesus?