PASSION WEEK | APRIL 12

THE BRIDGE TO DEVOTION

 

“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on His head…then…Judas Iscariot went to the Chief Priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?’  So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.”  Matthew 26:6-7, 14-15 (NIV)

 

Jesus remained in Bethany today to rest and pray.  It would prove to be a day of great contrasts:

 

  • A woman with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume/Judas with a money bag.
  • A woman concerned about Jesus/A man thinking of himself.
  • A woman who earned a good reputation/A man who ruined his reputation.

 

I long to see things from God’s perspective.  He has the greatest view, the “best seat in the house.”  Nothing gets past Him.  He sees things as they really are, but He also sees things as they can become.  So, it is no surprise that Jesus would be found in the home of “Simon the Leper” viewed by most as a man worth discarding, a man both

physically and Levitically unclean.  Jesus had a different perspective:  Simon was a

man worth healing, a man with potential.  That is how Jesus sees you!!

 

PERSPECTIVE – Perspective is a great revealer of the heart:

 

  • One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
  • One says the glass is half empty, another says it is half full.
  • Judas thinks the perfume is being wasted, Jesus thinks it is serving a higher purpose.

 

It is all about perspective, and perspective is all about the heart.

“As he thinks in his heart, so he is.”  (Proverbs 23:7)

 

The woman revealed her heart by what she gave:  perfume worth three hundred denarii (more than a year’s wages).  By giving the best she had to offer, she revealed extravagant love, devotion and sacrifice.  From her perspective, Jesus deserved her best, not her leftovers.  (The things of God deserve our excellence!)  From Jesus’ perspective, she performed a selfless deed that ceremonially prepared Him for
death and personally encouraged His spirit.
 

Judas revealed his heart by what he got:  thirty pieces of silver, the normal price

for a slave.  (Philippians 2:7)  By “selling Jesus out,” he revealed greed, betrayal,

and selfishness.  From his perspective, the woman wasted the perfume that could

have been sold for money that would be placed in the bag that he held.  Her self-

less act would be the catalyst that sent Judas to negotiate a price for Jesus with the

Chief Priests.

 

VALUE – What value do you place on your soul?  Jesus asks in Matthew 16:26,“What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”  Every day, people are sacrificing eternal things for temporary things, spiritual things for fleshly things…instant gratification with eternal consequences.  They may gain the world, but they lose their souls in the process.

 

            In reality, Judas did not sell Jesus for thirty pieces of silver:  he sold his soul    for thirty pieces of silver.  The sad thing is that people continue to sell their      souls for even less.  Scripture refers to Judas here not as one of the disciples, for he never was a “true follower” of Jesus.  He was simply “one of the Twelve.”

 

How could someone be so close to, yet so far away from, Jesus?

JUDAS MISSED IT.  THE WOMAN GOT IT.  HOW ABOUT YOU?

 

Family Discussion Question:  What does it mean to be devoted to Jesus?