- V2 – This is the 4th time Jesus has told them He’s going to die. This time He’s specific about when and how it will happen. He couldn’t be any more clear.
- Here’s a recap about what was going on before since He spent the last two chapters telling the disciples about what is to come. Before that He had been teaching (using parables) in the temple and the religious leaders were always the bad guys in the parables. Then they tried to trick Him several times into saying something that would turn the people against Him, but that never worked out for them.
- V3-4 – So now the religious leaders all went over to Caiaphas’ house (he’s the one with the palace, after all) and they’re trying to figure out how they can arrest Jesus without anyone finding out about it.
- V5 – The city is extra full because of Passover and the people from the rural towns are some of Jesus’ favorite fans. But did you catch that at the end? The plotters say it won’t happen during Passover, but Jesus just said it would happen during Passover in v2. They were planning, but things didn’t go as they planned. Matthew is really clear throughout that all things are going according to God’s plan. That’s why he chronicles all those repeated reminders of His death and the mentions of pre-planning in 26:18 and 21:2-3. It has to be very clear that none of this was a surprise or a mistake.
- V6 – This must be someone Jesus healed. If he still had leprosy, he wouldn’t be able to live in town.
◊ He kept his old nickname as a rememberance for bringing God glory. If Simon the Leper clearly doesn’t have leprosy, people are going to ask what happened. Is there a way I can share how Jesus has healed me so others can give glory to God and have hope for their own healing and salvation?
- V7 – John 12:3 identifies this woman as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. The ESV says the ointment was “a perfume oil used for solemn acts of devotion.”
◊ What act have I done to demonstrate my devotion to Christ?
- V8-9 – The disciples’ argument seems valid to a point (although John 12:6 clarifies that the loudest complainer was Judas because he wanted to pilfer from the cash). But I can’t think of an instance wehn God discouraged people from spending a lot of money on something that would bring Him glory.
◊ Am I generous towards God?
◊ What kind of things might seem like a waste to others but would be a beautiful thing to Jesus?
- V11 – He’s not saying they shouldn’t give to the poor. “You always have the poor with you” means you have the opportunity to give to the poor every day.
◊ The opportunity is there – what do I do with it?
- V12 – The ESV says this wasn’t why she annointed Him, but Jesus used it as another opportunity to remind them He’s going to die.
- V13 – I wonder if Matthew left out her name because he knows the point isn’t to bring glory to Mary, but to God.
◊ When I do somehting to advance God’s kingdom, do I leave hoping people will talk about me and what I’ve done or about God and what He’s done?
- V14 – Whatever his motives, Judas decided to take matters into his own hands.
- V15 – He wasn’t interested in turning Jesus over for nothing. He was deriven, at least in part, by his love of money. On the other hand, 30 pieces of silver wasn’t a huge windfall. It’s only about $7500 in today’s terms. (Incidentally, this was the price you had to pay if you accidentally killed a slave (Ex 21:32). How ironic for this humble King.)
◊ What does my relationship with money drive me to do? Does that bring glory to God?
- V16 – He gave up Jesus’ mission and took on his own mission.
◊ What’s my mission?
- V17 – The disciples think they need to prepare the Passover, but clearly…
- V18 – …Jesus had been preparing things as well, whether He’d arraged things with this man beforehand or this was another miraculous work of God. (Matthew leaves out a couple of exciting details you can find in Luke 22:8-13.)
◊ The success of my efforts in advancing God’s kingdom depends on the preparation God has done in people’s hearts beforehand. And my obedience (v19).
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
- Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
- What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
- What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
- What do these verses move me to pray for myself?