HOSTILITY AND LOVE
Heavenly Father, that which is deepest in me reaches out with deep gratitude to you, my Lord and Savior.
Read MATTHEW 26:1-16
The Plot Against Jesus
26 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 5 “But not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of 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.”
10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
- Matthew 26:11 See Deut. 15:11.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn our passage today we read about a woman who ‘came to Jesus’ (v 7). Let’s bring ourselves to him anew, as we read and pray.
Jesus is about to face his biggest test, and everything depends on what happens in the coming days. Matthew, our commentator and expert summarizer, introduces us (vs 1–5) to the main players. There’s Jesus, of course, who will die center-stage. And the chief priests, a nasty lot. The crowd, vocal but unreliable. And key disciples, women and men, particularly Judas (vs 14–16). They will be unforgettable participants in Jesus’ approaching ordeal.
As for the background, Jesus will have to cope with a conspiracy to murder on the one hand (vs 4,14–16) and devoted love on the other (vs 6–12). Most of us are not at our best when being criticized or plotted against. But Jesus was. Despite the hostility, he calmly rebuffed the criticism from his disciples about the values, and the value, of the woman anointing him. Others of us are sometimes awkward or big-headed when we are shown appreciation. Not so Jesus. He remained unruffled and affirmed the woman who had lavished her precious perfume on him.
As for the woman, she took her opportunity to show her love to her Lord when she could. If she had put it off for a week, she would have been too late.
If you don’t have an alabaster jar of precious perfume handy, what could you bring to the Lord to show how much you appreciate him?
Lord Jesus, you gave so unstintingly for me. Release in me a generous spirit. May I unstintingly love you and others.
Book and Author Intros
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.