26 When Jesus had finished this [a]discourse, He said to His disciples, 2 “You know that the Passover is coming in two days, and the Son of Man is to be betrayed and handed over for crucifixion.”
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the courtyard of the [elegant home of the Jewish] high priest, whose name was [b]Caiaphas, 4 and plotted together to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill Him. 5 But they said, “It must not be during the festival (Passover), otherwise there might be a riot among the people.”
The Anointing in Bethany
6 Now when Jesus was [back] in Bethany, at the home of [c]Simon the leper,7 a [d]woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very expensive [e]perfume and she poured it on Jesus’ head as He reclined at the table. 8 But when the [f]disciples saw it they were indignant and angry, saying, “Why all this waste [of money]? 9 For this perfume might have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware [of the malice] of this [remark], said to them, “Why are you bothering the woman? She has done a good thing to Me.11 For you always have the poor with you; but you will not always have Me.12 When she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.13 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, wherever this gospel [of salvation] is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her [for her act of love and devotion].”
Matthew 26:1I.e. a formal, extended teaching about important matters.
Matthew 26:3Caiaphas served as high priest a.d. 18 to 36. His father-in-law, Annas, served as high priest a.d. 6-15. Annas was removed from the position by Rome, but continued to be extremely influential and was regarded by the Jews as de facto high priest even though others (his sons and son-in-law) officially held the office. In about 1990, in an ancient burial cave outside Jerusalem, Israeli archeologists found twelve limestone ossuaries (bone boxes). One of them was uniquely elaborate and decorated with a rare and intricate pattern of rosettes. According to its inscription, this ossuary contained the bones of Caiaphas.
Matthew 26:6Most likely a man previously healed by Jesus. Otherwise he would not be able to have a home among others in the city.
Matthew 26:7John the Apostle identifies this woman as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus (Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8). Jesus was anointed in a similar way by an unnamed woman when He was in Galilee dining at the home of Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36-40).
Matthew 26:7This was a thick, scented oil (nard) obtained from the root of a flowering plant grown in the Himalayas of Tibet.
Matthew 26:8Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, spoke first denouncing this act of devotion (John 12:4, 5).
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