Seven Attributes of the Biblical Town of Bethany
1) Visit Bethany: A place of rest
On what we know as Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, drove out money changers from the Temple, and healed the blind and the lame. Afterward he went and spent the night in Bethany (Matt 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11).
2) A place of convenience
Located on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, Bethany lies about 2 miles from Jerusalem (see John 11:18), thus providing convenient, daily access to Jerusalem. As evidenced in the Gospels, Jesus traveled back and forth between Bethany and Jerusalem (see Mark 11:11-12).
3) A place of friends
Bethany was the home of Jesus’ friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus (Luke 10:38-42; John 11:1).
4) A place of weeping
Jesus had received word that his friend Lazarus was sick. When he arrived in Bethany his friend had already died. After speaking with Lazarus’ sisters and seeing them and the crowds weeping, “Jesus wept” (John 11:1-37).
5) A place of healing
Although Jesus’ friend Lazarus had died, Jesus commanded him to “come forth” out of the cave…and he did! (See John 11:38-44.)
6) A place of anointing
The week prior to Passover, Jesus stayed in Bethany with his friends. While having dinner in the home of Simon the leper, Mary (of Mary, Martha and Lazarus) anointed Jesus with “a very costly perfume” (Mark 14:1-3; John 12:1-3).
7) A place of ascension
According to Luke’s Gospel, following his resurrection, Jesus led his disciples from Jerusalem “as far as Bethany” where he “parted from them and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:36-53).