A Beautiful Jar and a few Silver Coins by Pastor David

Matthew 26:6-16

Jesus contrasts two people in Mark chapter 14.  An unnamed woman and Judas.  

Jesus’ feet is anointed with costly perfume by a woman. Some estimates state the value of that one bottle of perfume was around $20,000! It was an extravagant gesture, a waste in the eyes of many, yet Jesus commends her.

When Judas hears Jesus’ response Judas is furious and immediately leaves to betray Jesus.  Why was Judas so angry that the perfume was wasted on Jesus? 

John 12:4-6

4But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5“That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.”6Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

We know money had gripped Judas’ heart and emotions long before he turned Jesus over to the leaders of the Jewish people.  His heart was already owned by finances and comfort and wealth.  He did not possess money, money possessed him. In fact Judas sold the Savior of the world for 30 pieces of silver. For Judas, money was the seed of betrayal in his life.  

If we are not careful, finances can quickly become a stranglehold in our own lives and pierce us through with many griefs!

Matthew paints a powerful choice for the life of a believer.  Will money grip your heart or will you control your finances?  You can choose to do good with what God has given you like the unnamed woman or you can choose to spend all of your wealth on yourself.

It’s a startling choice. Whose life will you follow? What will you choose – a beautiful broken bottle or 30 silver coins? Which will define your life?  

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (I Timothy 6:10)

I’m sure the apostle Paul had Judas in mind when writing to his young son in the faith.  These Scripture passages are just as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago.     

Your finances can be used for much good or become seeds of betrayal.

Don’t allow the pleasures of the world to lead you to 30 silver coins, rather, live life like a beautiful, broken bottle!   

Don’t allow money to possess you, instead possess money and use it to further God’s kingdom here on earth! 

Grain, Cross and Glory by Pastor David

Isaiah 6:1-10

Grain, Cross and Glory

Woven into the Apostle John’s narrative are three pieces of a puzzle that show how humanity is brought into right relationship with God.

The three puzzle pieces are comprised of a kernel of wheat, a cross and glory. A kernel of wheat which dies alone in the ground brings multiplication.  The cross of intentional sacrifice draws all to Jesus. Finally the glory of Jesus Christ either opens or blinds eyes. 

John 12:20-50

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground….

There is no multiplication unless something dies.  In fact in God’s economy abundance comes from death.  It’s a paradox. It doesn’t make sense in our economy but in the spiritual economy it makes absolute sense.   Jesus not only confirms that He will be like a seed planted in the ground, His disciples will follow him too.  Are you willing to be a grain of wheat planted into the ground?  What does that look like in your life? 

When I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself…

Jesus knew where He was going.  He went with intention and for a purpose.  His reason was to draw people to himself. Without His sacrifice and without His shed blood there would be no Peace.  Humanity would forever be separated from God without his sacrifice.  He knew what was required and Scripture says, “for the JOY set before Him, He endured!”  He went to the cross intentionally, having every opportunity to avoid it, but He willingly laid down His life. What was the JOY?  You and me in restored relationship and intimate friendship. What a friend we have in Jesus! 

Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him….

It’s fascinating that John introduces the concept of glory in a passage marked with suffering and death.  The passage from Isaiah which John references is perhaps the most significant encounter an Old Testament prophet has with God Almighty.  Isaiah actually mentions that he “sees” the LORD.  For a Jew to say this would be outrageous, for even Moses could not look at God!  Yet, here in this passage Isaiah SEES God and he immediately recognizes his sin and God’s amazing glory.  John clarifies for us that Isaiah actually saw JESUS in his open vision.  

John 12:41 “Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. 

Isaiah saw Jesus as the Messiah. But when the Jewish leaders saw Jesus and all of His miraculous signs their eyes were closed. They refused to believe.  They didn’t see their sins and His glory they saw their own righteousness.  

John’s point is clear.  When you look at Jesus and all that He has done, are you convicted of your sin and recognize your need for a savior or are you blinded and convinced of your own ‘goodness’?

As we read through the last week in the life of Jesus, prayerfully reflect, worship and praise Him for His goodness toward us as he intentionally moves toward the cross for you and for me!