Tracing Holy Week: The Saturday Evening with Friends

Here are the Bible passages for this moment in history: John 12.1-8; Mark 14.3-9; Matthew 26.6-13. You can read all of the Holy Week portions of the Bible in this document, Tracing Holy Week Through Scripture. This evening, Jesus arrives in Bethany, on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives. As a geographical reference, He is very near to Jerusualem. The Garden of Gethsemane is to the west, just beyond the ridge. Bethpage is to the north. These three locations form a triangle, each about a mile and a quarter apart.  Jesus is in Bethany to visit with His friends Lazarus, Mary, Martha, and Simon the leper. It is in the home of the latter that Jesus enjoys dinner with these friends, and is anointed by Mary, also, a friend. Meetings with friends before a long trip when you’ll be away from one another for a long time, is as the cliché goes, bittersweet. When a spouse or friend is about to depart on a long trip and this is the last time you’ll be together, it is a time for both happiness and sadness. There will be a long lonely gap before the next time you see one another. Do you talk about the trip-to-come? No, not likely, it’s avoided. This is a time to talk about being together, to remember good times of togetherness in the past, and perhaps to envision the wonderful things you’ll do together after the long trip is completed and you are once more, together.  The subject of least interest surely must be the subject of good bye. Departure. And nobody at all wants to speak about the minutes before the departure, or the  first hour after the departure has happened, when the sadness is surely to be greatest. Jesus is meeting with friends. But He knows that a great departure is about to happen. And they do not.  Except, perhaps one, the one who pours the oil. She seems to know. 
Picture of John F. Jones

John F. Jones

King's Cross Senior Pastor