“Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.”
Jesus’ disciple, Judas Iscariot, begins rebuking Mary for wasting costly oil under the guise of caring for the poor, and the others criticize her sharply. “But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.’” So Jesus rebukes the men who have been seeking a position of prominence with Jesus and elevates the woman who was simply showing love for her Savior.
When Jesus and His disciples come near Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sends His disciples to bring Him a colt. “All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey’” (prophesy from Zechariah 9:9).
“Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.’”
Jesus knows the crowd shouting praises to Him is soon going to turn into a crowd shouting for His crucifixion. Therefore Jesus weeps over Jerusalem because of their unbelief. He says the day is coming when they will be surrounded by their enemies. This day will come in 70 AD when the Roman army will destroy Jerusalem and the temple, killing many Jews and taking the ones who don’t escape into captivity.
The reading ends with Jesus predicting His death – “‘Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’” The spiritually blind assume the voice is just thunder because they have completely missed that the Messiah is standing before them.
Jesus goes on to say that the ruler of the world, Satan, will be cast out. Jesus will die and be raised from the dead, defeating death and putting an expiration date on Satan’s reign. One day Jesus is coming back and when He does — “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
Keep reading. (Mark 14:3-9, Matthew 26:6-13, John 12:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-40, John 12:12-19, Luke 19:41-44, John 12:20-36)