While it only appeared in the Gospels, several noteworthy events took place in the area of Bethany. As John 11:18 said, Bethany "was less than two miles from Jerusalem". I will list the events chronologically.
The first occurrance of Bethany began with John the Baptist prophesying about a coming messiah and baptizing people who chose to believe in him. The religious leaders questioned him why he
was doing this. John 1:28 gave his answer:
26. "I baptize with water," John replied, "but among you stands one you do not know.
27. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."
28. This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
30. This is the one I meant when I said, `A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'
31. I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel."
After Jesus recruited disciples and began his ministry throughout Galilee, the people responded to His message of hope. He was greeted warmly at Jerusalem
in what is called the "triumphant entry" which Christians celebrate on Palm Sunday. Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-12 and
Luke 19:28-44 illustrated this event.
Read about it in Mark 11:1-14: Click here to show/hide this passage
1. As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples,
2. saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.
3. If anyone asks you, `Why are you doing this?' tell him, `The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.'"
4. They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it,
5. some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?"
6. They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.
7. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.
8. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.
9. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
10. "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" "Hosanna in the highest!"
11. Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
12. The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.
13. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.
14. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
In Matthew 21:17, Jesus left the temple in Jerusalem and went back to Bethany
17. And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Mark 11:20-26 stated that the fig tree that Jesus cursed in verses 12-14 when traveling between Bethany and Jerusalem withered and died immediately. The disciples took note of this on the way back to Jerusalem. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem at the temple a day later, He was upset that merchants were using it as a marketplace. In his anger, he overturned their tables and scorned them for their greed.
Luke 10:38-42 told how Martha welcomed Jesus into her home that she shared with her sister, Mary. They had a brother named Lazarus.
John 11:1 told how Lazarus died of his sickness; but, Jesus brought him back to life after being buried for 4 days as stated in verse 17.
1. Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.
3. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."
4. When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."
5. Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
6. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
7. Then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."
8. "But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?"
9. Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light.
10. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light."
11. After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."
12. His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better."
13. Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14. So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead,
15. and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
17. On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
John 11:30-46: Click here to show/hide this passage
30. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.
31. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32. When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
33. When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
34. "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied.
35. Jesus wept.
36. Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
37. But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"
38. Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
39. "Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."
40. Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
41. So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
42. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."
43. When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
44. The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."
45. Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.
46. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
After raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus remained in the area. He was invited to a dinner that is recorded in 3 of the Gospels, including Mark 14:3-9.
The reference in John 11:2 where Jesus was anointed
One of the other 2 passages in John 12:1-5 said:
1. Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
2. Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.
3. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,
5. "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages."
6. While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper,
7. a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
8. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. "Why this waste?" they asked.
9. "This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor."
After Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and he was crucified at Golgotha, Jesus rose from the grave on the third day. He remained for a short time before ascending to Heaven as recorded in
50. When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.
51. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.