October 31

October 31

Jesus’ Passover Preparation — Judas’ greed and betrayal, Mary’s anointing, & the furnished room.

Today’s Readings:
Reading 1: Matthew 26:1-19
Reading 2: Luke 22:1-13
Reading 3: John 12:4-6

When we discussed the widow in our last reading, we concluded that strength doesn’t come from money, power, position, or recognition. But there are still those who do not accept these truths. Judas is one example and we see the tragic unfolding of his greed and seeking for position in today’s readings. The same lust for position, power, and money is at work in the religious elites, preparing them to reject God’s provision of a Savior. Both these errors reflect the original sin of satan: seeking position equal to or greater than God, apart from God.

By contrast, Mary sacrificially expresses love for Jesus by pouring out her savings (probably her dowry) and thus willingly relinquishes her standing and her future prospects. It is interesting that the gospel writers are clear that Jesus treasured such love, and that Judas was motivated by greed and self-interest in his objections.

As you read today, step back and see how Jesus is still totally in authority over the unfolding of events. The miraculous provision of a place to celebrate the Passover feast, the inability of the religious leaders to find a time to capture Jesus until He is ready, Judas thinking he is setting the agenda in betraying Jesus yet being totally in Jesus’ hands over the timing of his betrayal. These, and many other details show us that what is about to unfold is not a tragic betrayal but a glorious act of sacrificial love initiated and consummated by God Himself.

Have a great day!

Mark.

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