55 It was now almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration, and many people from all over the country arrived in Jerusalem several days early so they could go through the purification ceremony before Passover began.56 They kept looking for Jesus, but as they stood around in the Temple, they said to each other, “What do you think? He won’t come for Passover, will he?”57 Meanwhile, the leading priests and Pharisees had publicly ordered that anyone seeing Jesus must report it immediately so they could arrest him.
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
12 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead.2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate[a] with him.3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar[b] of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said,5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages.[c] It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.”6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.
7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial.8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
9 When all the people[d] heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead.10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too,11 for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them[e] and believed in Jesus.
Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
12 The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors13 took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted,
“Praise God![f] Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!”[g]
14 Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said:
15 “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem.[h] Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.”[i]
16 His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him.
17 Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others[j] about it.18 That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign.19 Then the Pharisees said to each other, “There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone[k] has gone after him!”
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