Matthew – God’s Purposes
We know that ministry life has great, awesome, beautiful times where you see and feel God’s Holy Spirit flowing through the lives of those around you and in you. And there are also times humans close to you and work with you in ministry right beside you suck the life from you with blows to the heart, mind and soul. Jesus knows both. Jesus experienced both. Jesus understands and cares. Jesus still loved his betrayer and served him until the end.
We must begin to read “between the lines” of the following passages through the end of Matthew writings. A great deal can be learned from Jesus about how to live with a betrayer and still love them. “Love your enemies”, Jesus preached on the mountainside…now Jesus is faced with one of the twelve going over to the enemy. Satan is the enemy. Keep that in mind. As we examine these passages, we can see the growing conflict between Christ and the enemy.
Matthew 26, NLT
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
6 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. 7 While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.
8 The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. 9 “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”
10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests 15 and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
Matthew showed the connection between Mary’s worship and Judas’s betrayal. It was after the feast in Bethany that Judas went to the priests and offered his help (Mark 14:10–11). The Lord’s rebuke triggered Judas’s response. The feast at Bethany took place “six days before the Passover” (John 12:1) in the house of Simon the leper. Apparently he had been healed by the Lord Jesus.
There were at least seventeen people at this dinner:
Simon, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Jesus, and the twelve apostles. True to her character as the “doer” in the family, Martha did the serving (Luke 10:38–42). The three key persons in this event are Mary, Judas, and Jesus. Mary (v. 7). Only John identifies this woman as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus.
Mary is found only three times in the Gospels, and in each instance she is at the feet of Jesus. She sat at His feet and listened to the Word (Luke 10:38–42); she came to His feet in sorrow after the death of Lazarus (John 11:28–32); and she worshipped at His feet when she anointed Him with the ointment (John 12:1ff.). Mary was a deeply spiritual woman. She found at His feet her blessing, she brought to His feet her burdens, and she gave at His feet her best.
We love how Mary loves Jesus! Judas, however, the group’s treasurer, is indignant of this act of love. He misses the message of Jesus Christ completely. He wants a revolution from oppression and Jesus is preparing a Kingdom of life forever with Him that begins and ends with pure love, mercy and grace. He cannot handle it any longer. Satan uses the selfishness of Judas to lead him to leave the group and sell Jesus out for a few pieces of silver. Since money is the most important thing in Judas’ life, it is money that is used to betray the King of kings and Lord of lords. Ironic? Probably not.
God uses what we have been given to glorify Him. Satan takes from us what we fight so hard to keep to use for the destruction of our souls.
Beauty or betrayal? Which do we choose? We make choices daily in our lives that show clearly what we choose.
Dear Heavenly Father,
There is so much more that we need to learn, but let us meditate on just this much and evaluate our own lives. I choose you because you chose me. I love you because you loved me first. I follow you because you are life. I mess up when I think only of myself, my family, our finances, our problems, our mistakes, our past, our burdens. You forgive and pick me back up. Lord, like Mary, I bring all to you and lay it at your feet. YOU are God and I am not. YOU are Savior and Lord. Thank you for redeeming me. I worship You and You alone. May my life be a beautiful reflection of You, not of betrayal of all you are.
In Jesus Name, Amen