(Luke 10: 38-42; John 12)
Now while they were on their way, it occurred that YAHSHUA entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching (vs.38-39). Bethany was the village where Martha, her sister and her brother lived. It was located on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem according to John 11:18. Today Bethany’s name is el- Azariyeh, meaning the place of Lazarus and it is a ruinous village; a village separated by wall where tourists no longer have access to it. But it remains with a beautiful and silent past, for our Savior often visited it and had supper with His friends, Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Lazarus was brought to life there and many came to believe in YAHSHUA. Bethany will always shine its past!
After the death and resurrection of Lazarus, YAHSHUA was invited to supper with them. While Martha served, Mary anointed Him with a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume] six days before His death. Spikenard or nard, according to Wikipedia, is “a class of aromatic amber-colored oil. It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the tabernacle was located in the first and second temples.” This perfume-oil was very significant in the action of Mary when she anointed the Savior six days before His death. It speaks volume concerning Him as the Lamb of God being prepared for the Passover sacrifice. Mary had no idea of the prophetic meaning her action had. She was only expressing her gratitude to Him, but at the same time, she was being part of the fulfilling of God’s plan for His Son. The Lord defended her action against those who criticized her and confirmed the purpose for her action by saying, Let her alone. It was [intended] that she keep it for the time of My preparation for burial (John 12:a). The Lord blessed Mary in return. Her action did not go unnoticed. He rewarded her by saying, Surely I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the entire world, what she has done will be told in memory of her (Mark 14: 9).