Bethany and Bethphage

Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-48; John 12:1-19; see also Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9

At the start of Passover one week before he was crucified, Jesus and his disciples traveled to Jerusalem, approaching the city from the east. When they arrived at the village of Bethphage, Jesus mounted a donkey and rode down the Mount of Olives as a humble king entering his capital city. Along the way, many people laid branches and cloaks in his path to welcome him. After Jesus entered the city, he immediately went up to the Temple and drove out the moneychangers and merchants there, and he healed the blind and the lame. Then he traveled nearly two miles outside the city to the village of Bethany to spend the night, which appears to have been where he typically lodged each night while visiting Jerusalem during the crowded Passover festival. Bethany is also where Jesus’ close friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived. One evening while Jesus was there at a large dinner party given in his honor, Martha served the food, and Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair.

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