Day 17

In and around the Temple…

Matthew 26:1-16 NIV84

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away — and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, 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.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Then one of the Twelve — the one called Judas Iscariot — went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

What did Jesus tell His disciples?

Imagine these two scenes happening at the same time. Judas, indignant, leaves one to enter the other. Do you think the extravagant display of worship was the last straw for Judas? How do you feel when great expense is poured out to express adoration for Jesus?

On this side of the resurrection we have access to complete forgiveness and an unfettered relationship with God the Father, through Jesus Christ, by way of the Holy Spirit. But it is also an era that believes time is money. How do you feel when people pour out their time for God in prayer? worship? study of Scripture? Do you think it is time that could be better spent serving the poor or fighting injustice?  Does it make you feel indignant? Or do you look forward to opportunities to pour out your time on Him?

Lord, You say it’s a beautiful thing to worship You extravagantly. Help me to remember that there will always be work to do, but I will not always have the opportunity to worship You by faith through the power of the Spirit.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, 
for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists 
and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV
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