Two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the leading priests and religious scholars were committed to finding a way to secretly arrest Jesus and have him executed. But they all agreed that their plot could not succeed if they carried it out during the days of the feast, for they said, “There could be a riot among the people.”
Now Jesus was in Bethany, in the home of Simon, a man Jesus had healed of leprosy. And as he was reclining at the table, a woman came into the house, holding an alabaster flask. It was filled with the highest quality of fragrant and expensive oil. She walked right up to Jesus, and with a gesture of extreme devotion, she broke the flask and poured out the precious oil over his head. But some were highly indignant when they saw this, and they complained to one another, saying, “What a total waste! It could have been sold for a great sum, and the money could have benefited the poor.” So they scolded her harshly.
Jesus said to them, “Leave her alone! Why are you so critical of this woman? She has honored me with this beautiful act of kindness. For you will always have the poor, whom you can help whenever you want, but you will not always have me. When she poured the fragrant oil over me, she was preparing my body in advance of my burial. She has done all that she could to honor me. I promise you that as this wonderful gospel spreads all over the world, the story of her lavish devotion to me will be mentioned in memory of her.”