After the fiasco on Tuesday in the Temple the Chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the High priest, whose name was Caiaphas. There they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. “But we cannot do it during the Feast,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”
While Jesus was in Jerusalem for Passover he would stay with friends in Bethany. Many people followed Jesus there as well to see him and listen to what he said. Many of them also went to see Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead (John 11), so because of this the chief priests made plans to kill him as well, because many Jews were putting their faith in Jesus on account of him.
Are you a Pharisee or one of the People?
The word of God is a mirror for our heart and soul. We are to look at it, read it, study it and compare ourselves to it. So how can you compare yourself in what we see going on with the Pharisees? The Pharisees and all the religious leaders at that time were very prideful of their “righteous” living. They then put heavy loads on the people they were to minister to before God and made life difficult for them. When Jesus came and told them that it wasn’t about all the rules and the Law, but their hearts, they didn’t like what they heard. They had more pride in what they did and did not pay attention to why they did it.
The people on the other hand had been waiting for their Savior, the promised Messiah, from God and were amazed by how Jesus spoke, taught and most of all by his miracles. They liked his teaching because it made living for God easy, not hard like the Pharisees had. It was so bad they couldn’t even look in a mirror on the Sabbath for fear they may see a hair out of place and it would be considered work to put that hair back where it belonged. Or how they taught that all the extra money someone had was to be put to work for the Lord through the temple which then they had nothing left to help others in need, even their own parents. This was not God’s design at all.
Do you feel burdened by all the religious rules you need to keep? Rest assured that Jesus did not live a life full of rules, but he lived in freedom, freedom to love the Father and those around him because of the love from the Father. This is what it is to be a follower of Christ.
While Jesus was having dinner with his friends in Bethany, Mary came to him and anointed him with perfume. Those that saw this were indignant and Judas Iscariot asked, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”
But Judas Iscariot did not say this out of his care for the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. Be careful of your motives.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
After this Judas Iscariot went to the chief priest and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I had him over to you?”
They were delighted to hear this and counted out 30 silver coins. From then on Judas looked for an opportunity to hand Jesus over.
Luke’s account states that Satan entered Judas. Ephesians 4:27 warns us to not give the devil a foothold in our lives. Judas had been giving him many.
Why did Judas, one of his closest friends, decide to betray Jesus? Most of the Jews were looking for a warrior Messiah to save them from the Romans, but they were not the true enemy. Jesus came to live by example for his people and to rescue them from the true enemy, Satan. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
Judas was one of these people. He was ready to go to battle against the Romans with Jesus. He was a disciple not so much to learn from Jesus, but for what he could get from him. Imagine if Jesus was really going to be the King of the Jews and vanquish the Romans, Judas, one of the 12 closest to Jesus, would have been in a pretty good spot in this new kingdom. Yet Jesus was not doing anything against the Romans. All Jesus was doing was making the religious leaders mad. So Judas decides to betray Jesus and lead him into a trap into the hands of the people who wanted to kill him. Judas figured he would press Jesus into fighting for his life and then it would all unfold in a way Judas could never imagine. We will take a look at that tomorrow.
One thing I do want to mention: The scriptures do not specifically say that any of this happened on Wednesday. Wednesday seems to have been a pretty quiet day for Jesus and his disciples. But there is so much going on and we can only imagine that those recording the ministry of Jesus got so excited about telling the story they didn’t put much into a timeline. We can only speculate that these events happened around this time, but it doesn’t change the fact that these events did all happen.
I pray you have been enjoying taking a look at the Holy Week.