A few years less than 2,000 years ago this very day, the initial events of the most important week in human history began to unfold outside of Jerusalem near the little village of Bethany. Jesus of Nazareth, with scarcely a three-year ministry among his countrymen, left the home of his friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus and walked resolutely toward the gates of Jerusalem. Some of the inhabitants of that ancient city considered him to be a blasphemer, a demon, a transgressor of Jewish law. Others believed him to be a prophet, the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Whatever the opinions may have been, all Judea knew of this man who taught with power and authority though he was neither Scribe nor Pharisee.