Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 33; Matthew 26
In Matthew 26, we find the religious leaders plotting how they could kill Jesus. “Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill Him.” (vs. 3-4) The stumbling block for them was that it was the time of Passover and they feared what the people might do. While they were plotting on how to kill Jesus, His friends were meeting with Him to show their love and devotion and Judas was scheming in his heart on how he could make some money. As Mary pours the expensive ointment over the head of Jesus the disciples were disgusted with what they called waste. Jesus immediately rebukes them by teaching about priorities. “For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.” (vs. 11) What a testimony of love Mary shows to her Master. He meant so much to her that she was willing to sacrifice in order to show her love and dedication to Jesus. The question that begs to be asked is this, “how much have I sacrificed lately to show Jesus how much I love and appreciate Him?” I personally do not think it was the price of the perfume or the poor that was the main concern for the disciples. I believe they were embarrassed about Mary’s sacrifice and how little the disciples were willing to sacrifice. It has never ceased to amaze me the number of times I have had to solve problems in the church that were rooted in envy or competition. Mary had no hidden motive for her demonstration of love and Jesus said it would be a memorial for her as long as the gospel was being spread. Jesus loved His disciples, but he knew of their weaknesses. He knew they would sleep when they were supposed to be praying. He knew they would fear when Judas came to betray Him, and He knew that they were going to quit and that after His resurrection. Jesus knew that He was going to need to go after them and gather them again. “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.” How sad it is when Christians try to hide their weaknesses by tearing down the true dedication of other Christians. Will you admit your weaknesses to God today and rejoice with the strengths of other Christians? When we read the rest of this chapter, Oh how we must rejoice in the love our Savior has for us. He was willing to be wrongly accused and disciplined by His enemies, betrayed by one of His own disciples, and denied by one of His closest friends. What are we willing to endure because we love Him? What, of great value, have we sacrificed or been willing to sacrifice because of our love and devotion to Christ?
• Lord, please help me to rejoice in my relationship to you, and in the relationship others have with you. Please help me to never compete with other Christians, but to be a source of encouragement and help to their demonstrations of love and devotion to you.
• Lord, thank you for paying the price of my sin. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for enduring all the pain (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) so that my sins could be forgiven. Help me to be willing to endure suffering for your name’s sake.
• Lord, please help me to be willing to forsake all to follow you. Please help me to hold the things of this world loosely and learn to hold tight on those things that are eternal.