Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him.
Judas will be with us many times during Holy Week – almost every day. There must be significance in this. We cannot ignore him; we have to look at him. He comes to us already judged and condemned in John’s gospel. He stands there, hopeless, expecting no mercy.
John wrote, “He had no concern for the poor; he was a thief and used to help himself to the funds.” The other gospel writers only record what Judas did, and refrain from passing judgment on him. As if in contrast to John’s testy presence we have Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. What is she doing to the atmosphere? “She took a pound of costly perfume… and anointed the feet of Jesus…. The whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged,” Jesus had said (Mt 7:1). Our judgment may be factually true: that’s the bait on the trap. But it is not the whole truth: that’s the trap. All our judgments are incomplete. We don’t know the full truth about anyone. And we hardly begin to understand the mercy of God.
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