Everybody wants something. In our world we are constantly being bombarded with marketing, whether it is on the internet or on TV or even in person. So there’s a saying, “What are you trying to sell me?” It can be exhausting. Young people have become very cynical about it. But in today’s passage we see a very different kind of person. The Apostle Paul is defending the apostles’ ministry to the Thessalonians, and shares that they lived in a way quite different to those trying to get something. Instead, they came to give, and to give purely.Read More
This letter of 1 John was written to clear up the confusion that had started spreading among the early Christians, confusion about who Jesus is and about what kind of people really belong in Christian communities. So in the first four verses, the author focuses on who Jesus is, and on the nature of the fellowship we have with him and with one another. It’s stunning: Jesus came in the flesh and was fully human; at the same time, Jesus is from the beginning.Read More
The Apostle John was like a spiritual father to the early believers. In this letter, he often calls them his children. He wrote them this letter to prevent them from going the wrong way. It was so that they could continue in true fellowship with God the Father through Jesus his Son, and in true fellowship with one another. For this, they needed discernment, because there was a lot of false teaching coming from people who seemed good. In today’s brief passage John teaches how to recognize the Spirit of God, based mainly on what people are saying and teaching about Jesus.Read More
Unstoppable. Sometimes that can be a bad thing, like when a person can’t stop talking, or can’t stop doing something irritating. But unstoppable can also be a good thing. Today’s passage is about the resurrection of Jesus. Matthew’s account of it shows us is that Jesus is unstoppable. The religious leaders tried to stop his ministry and his message, but they couldn’t. Of course his resurrection was good news to his followers, but it’s also good news to all people of the world. It’s not just a theological idea, or dogma; his resurrection actually applies to our daily lives. When we believe Jesus has risen, we too become part of God’s unstoppable work in the world. May God open our hearts and speak to us personally through his words today.Read More
Death is almost never pleasant. For some it happens suddenly in their sleep, quietly, and no one even notices they’re gone. For others, it happens slowly, with a lot of attention, and their death seems to be a great loss. In old age death seems natural, but when it’s a younger person it seems unnatural. Often, a person’s death can seem so meaningless or useless, but in some cases it can be very meaningful.Read More
Does injustice bother you? Sometimes the comforts and pleasures of life numb us to the pains and outrage of injustice. What do we do about injustice? In today’s passage Matthew portrays the trial of Jesus, probably the greatest injustice that ever occurred. The religious leaders, Judas, Pilate, the crowd and the soldiers all treat Jesus so badly. Yet he remains quiet. There are many kinds of kings or leaders, some good, some terrible. If we dig deeply enough, we find that all of them are flawed in some way. But Jesus our righteous King was completely innocent, yet he was traded for a known criminal, betrayed, mocked and sentenced to die. It happened so long ago, and there’s nothing we can do about it. But as we reflect on who he is, what kind of king he really is, God’s grace floods into our souls. May God open our hearts and speak to us personally through his word today.Read More
In Handel’s world-famous work, “The Messiah,” the heart-moving chorus “Worthy is the Lamb” comes at the very end of two hours of glorious music. But here, the chorus it’s actually based on in the Bible, comes at the beginning of Revelation, in chapter 5, with 17 more chapters to follow. We’re going to see that there’s much drama and great struggles in these chapters. But the end is a foregone conclusion, because “Worthy is the Lamb!” In Revelation 4 and 5 we’re taken along with the author John into a very special place, the very throne room of God in heaven. What we see there is highly symbolic. But the main point is to help us get answers to some questions: Who is God in heaven, and what’s he like? Who is Jesus, and what’s he like? What do they have to do with what’s going on down here right now in this real world? A lot more than we might think. We especially want to learn in this study about worship, about what Jesus came to do, and why he’s worthy of all our worship. May God open our hearts and speak to us through his living word today.Read More
Do you pray? What do you think about prayer? Children used to be taught to “say their prayers” before going to sleep. So, many people grew up thinking prayer is some kind of chore or duty. Others think it’s an effort to get God to do what we want. Because it doesn’t always work, prayer can often seem futile. So once, a lofty theologian said, “I don’t pray; I meditate.” What is prayer? Early in Matthew’s Gospel Jesus gave his disciples some simple instructions on prayer. He told them to do it not to get people to see them and be impressed, but in secret, only for God to see. Then he taught them the Lord’s Prayer. Some people think we should be praying only those words. Today is a unique passage in which we see Jesus himself praying. At first it seems like just an old story, but actually it’s a fascinating lesson on what prayer is and how we all should pray. May God open our hearts and speak to us personally through his words today.Read More
Key Verse: 26:28
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Remembering is important, especially remembering what was done for us. It’s why we have holidays like Mother’s Day. We all so easily take things for granted; we so easily forget. Forgetting small things may not be so big a deal, but forgetting big things is really a problem. Today’s passage is about remembering. Jesus took the most famous Jewish holiday and transformed it into remembering what he was about to do for all God’s people throughout all time. Jesus taught his disciples to remember not his birth, not his life, not his miracles, but his death. How can we remember it? Today’s passage has three parts: preparing for Passover (17–19); predicting betrayal (20–25); and remembering Jesus (26–30). We especially want to think about the blood of Jesus and what it means to us. May God open our hearts and speak to us personally through his words today.
Look at verse 17. The Festival of Unleavened Bread lasted a whole week. People had to eat only bread made without yeast, to humble themselves and remember how God rescued them from slavery in Egypt. This first day of the Festival was Thursday. That day, all God’s people gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. They did it every year without fail. The Passover meal could be eaten only in Jerusalem. So the population of the city swelled to overflowing. People would bring their extended family members, in groups of ten to twelve people, offer a live lamb to God at the temple, drain out all its blood, take the animal’s body back, and then get to cooking. Everybody who came to Jerusalem for the Festival needed a place to cook and eat. The meal had to begin after sundown. It required buying groceries, getting key items like bread made without yeast, bitter herbs, fruit jams and wine, and plates and utensils. The lamb had to be roasted for several hours. Jesus and his disciples would usually stay with close friends in Bethany, but they had no place to do all this in Jerusalem, where things were quite expensive. Though they didn’t know how, the disciples were ready to help. They offered to get things ready and do all the work. Progress.
How did Jesus respond? Look at verse 18. They were to go into the city and meet “a certain man”—no name, just a guy—and tell him their Teacher and they, his disciples, were all coming over to his house to celebrate the Passover. It seems kind of clandestine, like spies meeting at a secret place. And this guy seems to have had no choice—it was just going to happen. But he did have a choice. He could’ve said to them, “You’re crazy. No way.” He could’ve ditched them down an alley. But he led them to his house without any question. We don’t know who he was, but clearly he was somebody who liked Jesus and was willing to help him out. And anybody who had a house in Jerusalem big enough for 13 men was pretty well off. But his wealth didn’t make him selfish. He was willing for Jesus to use him. Are we? Look at verse 19. To Matthew, the key players here were the disciples. Why? Because they followed Jesus’ instructions. It sounds so simple, but it was probably way harder than it looked. They had to go into the city with no plan except to meet a certain guy and trust that he’d listen to them, let them come over, spend the day cooking and the evening dining. It’s likely that the disciples had no money and this guy had to take them to the market to buy all the ingredients. The disciples had many weaknesses, but their strong suit was that they listened to Jesus, trusted his words and put them into action. When they did, they could make the impossible possible.
Look at verses 20,21. During this Passover meal Jesus drops a bomb on them: “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” They were all having such a wonderful time, enjoying the meal, but now it’s become really hard to eat. We can just hear the pieces of food dropping and the cups clinking. Look at verse 22. In Greek it literally says that they became “sorrowful exceedingly.” Some of them probably started crying. They each said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” What are we seeing here? It shows they were all so pure-hearted. Not in their wildest imagination had any of them ever thought of betraying Jesus. No, each one loved Jesus. Each one was certain he had a personal relationship with him. Each one was loyal to him. When each one asked, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” it was a humble way of personally confessing his love to Jesus.
But Jesus goes on. Look at verse 23. Why is he speaking like this? The expression “the one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me” refers to their eating style at the time. At the Passover table there would be a common bowl of herbs mixed in fruit jam, and everybody would take pieces of unleavened bread and dip them in to eat. To the Jews, sharing such a bowl would be done only with one’s closest family and friends. It was a sign of intimacy and trust. Jesus draws attention to this to emphasize how treacherous the betrayal would be. And he insists on all of them thinking about that. Look at verse 24. Jesus gives a blatant and dire warning. It would be better not to have been born than to betray him. It’s a veiled way of saying the punishment would be especially bad: not just better not to have known Jesus, but better not even to have been born!
Why is Jesus warning this? He’s giving his betrayer one last chance to repent. Jesus said he was going to “go as it is written about him,” meaning he would die as the prophecies predicted. But it didn’t have to happen due to one of the Twelve. Though Judas had colluded with the religious leaders, taking their 30 silver coins, Jesus was trying to wake him up to stop his evil plan. With these words he probably was also trying to counteract Judas’ bad influence to the others. We all need to be forewarned: we should never betray Jesus.
Look at verse 25. Only Matthew adds this detail. Judas was being so fake, so hypocritical. And Matthew has a special distaste for hypocrisy. In modern terms Jesus tells Judas, “You said it, bro.” He said it in a way the others wouldn’t understand, but Judas would. Jesus not only could see through his acting, but also was holding Judas accountable for what he was about to do. We live in a generation where people love to blame their wrongdoings on others. A comedian used to joke, “The devil made me do it!” But we can’t blame anybody, not even the devil, for our own choices. God is working out his own sovereign plan, but we still are responsible for what we do, especially for how we respond to Jesus.
Once Jesus got this matter of betrayal off his heart, he could get on with what he really wanted to say. Look at verse 26. It was another kind of shock. First it was betrayal, and now, it’s that Jesus is going to have his body torn open and consumed. Wow. The meal got really weird. It’s going to happen literally, but he’s also speaking figuratively. Why is he doing this? It was customary at the Passover meal for a child to ask his father, “Why are we eating this meal?” Then the father would explain that it was to commemorate how God brought them out of slavery in Egypt through the Passover lamb. By saying the bread symbolized his body, Jesus is saying he has become the Passover Lamb.
We may think Passover was only for Jews; but actually it’s for Christians, too. Apostle Paul said, “Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1Co5:7). Getting rid of the old yeast means repenting of our pride and old sinful nature. We all need to remember what Jesus did for us. He sacrificed himself and became the Passover Lamb to save us from our sins (1:21b). Who do we think we are? We’re all nothing but slaves of sin without Jesus. We’re nothing but puffed up, proud sinners, full of evil thoughts, desires and habits. Nothing we do can get us out of it. Only Jesus’ sacrifice saves us. As soon as we forget what he’s done for us—and we all do that—we start getting puffed up again. The only way to stay truly humble is to take and eat Jesus’ body, meaning, personally remember how he sacrificed himself for my sins, to save me.
We live in a culture of self-affirmation. Everybody wants to have strong self-esteem. People really don’t like feeling guilty about anything. Some feel guilty when they shouldn’t, and don’t feel guilty when they should. But we all need to remember that we’re sinners, helplessly enslaved to our sins, and that Jesus gave his very self to save us. It’s not to humiliate us, but to heal us. And it’s not about what we do, but about remembering what Jesus has done.
Just remember? That may not seem so practical. But it really is. When we remember what Jesus did, it fills our hearts with his great love and grace. Jesus transformed the Passover meal into what Christians call “communion.” Among the early Christians it became known as their “love feasts.” Outsiders with a dirty mind made fun of them. But when they re-enacted this Last Supper by taking the bread, they were celebrating a feast of love, remembering the love of Jesus who sacrificed himself for each believer. Remembering Jesus’ personal love for me is a game-changer. It changes my heart and mind. It puts me in a whole new head space. Instead of always feeling inadequate and kind of guilty for not fully living up to what I know I should, I can feel God’s great love, which is so powerful and so unconditional. I can be strengthened in his love and be filled with grace and peace and joy. It’s what renews my soul and makes me alive spiritually. Remembering that Jesus sacrificed his own body for me is food for the soul which nourishes and revitalizes me. We don’t necessarily need to go to church and go through a ritual to do it; we can do it every morning in the privacy of our own homes—come to Jesus and remember how he sacrificed himself for me. Just as we all need to be eating meals until we grow old and die, we all need to be having this spiritual meal personally until we die.
Look at verses 27,28. During Passover people would all drink from a cup of wine diluted with water, remembering how the Passover lamb’s blood saved them from slavery in Egypt and from God’s judgment during the plague on the firstborn. When Jesus spoke these words, reinterpreting Passover, he must have had in mind Exodus 24:8: “Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.’” It was a vivid way of saying that God had purchased the people to belong to him. The covenant means God was making promises to be their God, to love, protect and bless them, and they were making promises to be his people, to love, respect and obey him. They promised, but as we often do, they couldn’t keep their promises. They quickly broke their promises to obey God. That covenant didn’t work.
So God promised to make a new covenant. Jeremiah 31:31–34 reads:
“‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD,
‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,’ declares the LORD.
‘This is the covenant I will make
with the people of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD.
‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor or say to one another, “Know the LORD,”
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the LORD.
‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’”
This was what Jesus was talking about here: the covenant in his blood, shed to forgive our sins. When we accept that Jesus shed his blood to forgive my sins, we have a covenant with God. He promises that we are now his people. Through Jesus’ blood we experience God’s love so deeply that we actually know him personally. We rely on his blood, and it keeps us from breaking his covenant and failing him.
The story of this Last Supper is in all four Gospels. But in recounting the meaning of the cup, only Matthew specifically mentions the forgiveness of sins. It stresses how important it is to know that all our unforgiveable sins have been forgiven, because Jesus shed his blood for us. After living as a tax collector Matthew suffered from a guilty conscience. He betrayed his own people and lived for his own gain. His greed made him ugly. No doubt he hated himself. But when he saw the blood of Jesus flowing down on the cross, he came to the deep realization, as the old hymn goes, that “Jesus Paid it All.” He found peace with God at last. So often we act like everything’s fine, like we’re okay, when deep inside we’re not okay. Guilt is gnawing at our souls. In this state we’re so often trying to make amends, to do good so that God and others will somehow accept us. It’s never enough; it never sets us free; it never makes us spiritually trustworthy. Only Jesus’ blood poured out for us can cleanse our consciences and free us to really serve God (Heb9:14). Many modern people find accepting a covenant in Jesus’ blood offensive. They’d like to find a more dignified way to live better lives. But we all need to humble ourselves to accept his blood. It’s the good news of the gospel. It’s how Jesus saves his people from their sins (1:21b). Jesus told his disciples, “Drink from it, all of you.” He’s telling us, too.
Look at verse 29. It’s both sad and hopeful. The disciples would never eat a Passover meal on earth with Jesus again. But they had a great hope to eat the most intimate meal with Jesus in the Father’s kingdom. This eternal, heavenly meal is our hope, too.
Today we thought especially about the blood of Jesus. Read verse 28. May God grant each of us a covenant with him through his blood. May he renew his forgiveness of our sins in our souls and draw us close to him.
Key Verse: 26:10
“Aware of this, Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.’”
Have you ever heard the expression, “Do something that matters”? So many people feel like what they’re doing in life doesn’t really matter. All our struggles to get ahead, to become financially stable, to have some achievements in life—what do they all matter? To offset a sense of meaningless some people try to “give back” what they received, to share with those less fortunate. It’s noble, but trying to do good may not really change anything or make a lasting impact. In great frustration, so many people ask, “What does it matter?” In today’s passage, we find a person who seizes the moment and, according to Jesus, does something that really matters. At the time, it seemed like it didn’t really matter. It didn’t change anything, it didn’t move anybody’s heart, it didn’t prevent bad things from happening. But Jesus teaches that this woman’s deed is an example for all future believers all around the world, including us. Who was this woman? Why did she do what she did? Why did it matter? And how can we be like her? May God open our hearts and speak to us through his words today.
Look at verse 1. It begins, “When Jesus had finished saying all these things…” This expression is used in Matthew’s Gospel every time Jesus finishes one of his five major discourses (7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1). In this case, it’s the last time he gives any extended public teaching. He ended his public teaching ministry partly because people were not really listening, but mainly because God had something else for him to do.
Look at verse 2. Here he’s talking to his disciples. He’s predicting his upcoming death, which was just two days away. He’s predicted it to his disciples three times before (16:21; 17:22,23; 20:18,19). So why is he telling them again? Does Jesus just like to repeat himself? No. And his saying it isn’t going to stop it from happening or protect his disciples. In fact, it doesn’t change their minds or seem to help them at all; as we’ll soon see, when he’s arrested, they’ll all desert him and flee (31,56). So what’s his point in repeatedly predicting his death to his disciples? Though they didn’t understand, they’d remember it. And later, they’d realize that his death wasn’t an accident or a tragedy. It was God’s sovereign plan. Actually, it was the reason Jesus was born and came into the world. God sent his Son on a mission, to save his people from their sins (1:21b), and he could do it only through his own crucifixion.
To the disciples, the word “crucifixion” must have sounded horrible, maybe too much to take in. But death by crucifixion was a reality in their society. It was humiliating, disgraceful, and real torture. Jesus’ life had had such an impact: so many amazing healings and teachings, so many followers. How could his life and ministry end like that? What may have been even harder to grasp was that Jesus would be “handed over.” The Greek word is also translated “betrayed.” It’s like our words “snitch,” “informer,” or “squealer.” It would be like a stab in the back: Jesus would be turned in to the police, even though he did nothing wrong.
Look at verses 3–5. These religious leaders have been plotting for a long time to kill Jesus (12:14), and now they were ready to do it. They thought they’d kill Jesus after the festival, but God was going to make it happen during the festival. They thought they were in control of everything, that they were smarter than everyone. But in fact, God was ruling and overruling them, accomplishing his own plan (Ps2:1–2; Ac4:28). As Proverbs 21:30 tells us, “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.”
Then Matthew turns our attention to a very different person. Read verses 6,7. Bethany was a wealthy suburb of Jerusalem. Simon the Leper was wealthy enough to have a home there. He was likely somebody who’d been healed by Jesus; otherwise, he’d still be in quarantine. His money couldn’t heal him, but Jesus did. It says that at his home, Jesus “was reclining at the table.” That was how people of that time would eat their meals, not sitting on chairs but laying on cushions at a short table close to the ground. It was somewhat unusual for Jesus to be in a wealthy person’s home having dinner, but it was a special occasion. It was a dinner given in Jesus’ honor. His disciples also were there (8a).
And then, in comes this woman. It says she “came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume.” Alabaster is a soft mineral that’s partly see-through. To hold perfume, it was shaped into a jar with a very long neck that could easily be snapped and broken. The other Gospels tell us that this one jar of perfume was worth a year’s wages (Mk14:5; Jn12:5). In today’s average, that might be about $40,000. What kind of perfume was that? And who would have such perfume? Only a woman from a rich family. It was most likely given to her from her youth by her parents, to hold onto until her wedding day. To most women, the wedding day may be the most important day in life. To this woman, this jar of perfume was her secret treasure. Maybe she didn’t have much else.
But what did her action mean? Why would she come to Jesus and pour this perfume on him? Most men wouldn’t want to wear women’s perfume. But this woman wasn’t playing a prank; she wanted to honor Jesus with her expensive perfume. So she came up from behind him and poured it on his head. We don’t know how, but everybody there knew how expensive it was (9). So, what she was doing was very personal, but at the same time, very public.
It’s also very interesting that in this passage, there’s not one word spoken by this woman—all that matters is what she did. Her one act of devotion to Jesus speaks volumes. What does it say? It expresses how much she loved him. The only reason we would ever give up a personal treasure to somebody else would be because we loved that person, right? Personal sacrifice like this can only be done willingly, out of love. So why did this woman love Jesus so much? She didn’t just have a distant crush on him. John’s Gospel tells us that her name was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who were close friends of Jesus. Jesus had just raised her brother Lazarus from the dead, and Mary did this out of gratitude to him. It was probably even deeper than that. Jesus taught elsewhere that greater love comes from a greater awareness of his forgiveness (Lk7:47). Through her experience with Jesus she’d tasted his grace of forgiveness of sins. She’d realized what a sinner she was, and yet how Jesus loved her still. Her heart was so full of his grace, she could not but do something for him in return.
In the previous passage Jesus talked about serving the needy as if we were serving him (25:40). But why do anything for Jesus at all? Why not just live for ourselves? That’s how most “normal” people are living anyway, right? It seems strange, even crazy, to be giving our treasures away to somebody else. Some people do good things out of a sense of duty. Some do it to earn others’ favor, or with a superstitious idea that good will come back to them. But this was done quietly, out of love. No other reason, just love. So many people had come to Jesus to get his help. Some had come to criticize. But this woman came just to do something for him, to show him love. She didn’t care what people would think of her or say about her; she was just compelled to show him love.
What happened? Look at verses 8–9. “Indignant” means “angry.” They called it a “waste.” They thought it was a missed opportunity to help many poor, starving people with the money that could have been gained from that perfume. They thought this woman was being too emotional and extravagant. They didn’t understand her heart at all. John’s Gospel tells us that the real objector was Judas Iscariot; so the other disciples must have chimed in with him. Judas didn’t say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, stealing from their common money bag (Jn12:6). How ugly and hypocritical Judas was!
What did Jesus say? Read verse 10. Jesus rebuked his disciples for bothering the woman. They called what she did a “waste,” but Jesus called it “a beautiful thing.” Some people hate to waste food. Some hate to waste time. But doing things passionately can also seem like a waste, like rooting for our favorite team, only to see them lose, or working so hard to save money, only to have to spend it on something we didn’t want, or helping somebody wholeheartedly, only to get used in the end. When we’re young, with so many options ahead of us, we wonder what we should be giving our lives to. Gaining a stable job and having a family, only to grow old and die can seem so meaningless. What should we be doing with our lives? Where should we be pouring out all our passion, all our life’s treasures? It can seem really hard to figure out. Social causes can seem appealing, but people often highjack them for their own agendas. After dedicating ourselves to something for many years, who wants to conclude that it was all just a waste? What really matters?
Read verse 10 again. Jesus said she did a beautiful thing “to him.” Living for Jesus, doing beautiful things for him, is never a waste. Jesus still sees the hearts of those who love him, and he accepts as beautiful forever the things we do out of love for him. Apostle Paul learned this secret. After experiencing his forgiveness, Paul poured his life into serving Jesus (Php2:17; 2Ti4:6). He was misunderstood, slandered, many deserted him, and he ended up in prison. But he wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Php1:21). He wrote, “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” (Php3:8).
Many of us may have had passion when we were young, but not anymore. How can we rekindle a real passion in serving Jesus? How can we give our whole hearts to him once again? Maybe we need to repent of calculating, of comparing ourselves with others, of loving the world too much, of loving ourselves too much, of loving some sin too much. Whatever our problem may be, we all need to reflect on Jesus’ grace in our personal lives, until our hearts are moved and restored. Only when we realize how much Jesus loves us can we love him in return (1Jn4:19), and do something that really matters.
Jesus also taught a principle. Look at verse 11. It tells us we need to get our priorities straight. We shouldn't abuse this to excuse ourselves from helping the needy. At the same time, we should keep the focus on Jesus himself. We need to be ready for any opportunity to serve him, in whatever way he shows us. Look at verse 12. Jesus saw a much greater significance in this. He saw that she was preparing his body for burial. He took her act of devotion and gave it an eternal meaning. Look at verse 13. Jesus wants us all to learn something here. Loving Jesus from the heart is what really matters.
Look at verses 14–16. Judas was one of the Twelve. He’d been so close to Jesus. But he never really opened his heart to him. He was all head, but no heart. Eventually his smartness got him into big trouble. Only Matthew mentions the thirty silver coins. Those coins stand in stark contrast to Mary's very expensive perfume. Thirty silver coins represented the penalty an owner of an ox had to pay if his animal gored a slave to death. In the big scheme of things it wasn’t much money. It shows that Jesus' life was valued like that of a slave. But Mary valued Jesus as more precious than the greatest treasure on earth.
Let’s read verse 10 again. Let’s pray that somehow, we all can do beautiful things with our lives for Jesus, things that really matter in our world.