Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
From stories in Matthew 26 and John 12
In the Garden of Eden, Satan turned Eve into a little version of himself. He manipulated her to behave just as he would have behaved, had he been in her place. He slandered God to her, and then she passed that slander against God to Adam. Both times, slander succeeded. As I said before, it is Satan’s most productive weapon. When we read John 12:1-8 and then Matthew 26:6-13, we see that in just four days, Judas the Slanderer had turned the disciples into a little version of himself. He succeeded in slandering Jesus to the disciples, and they were manipulated to behave just as Judas had behaved a few days earlier.
In John 12, six days before Passover, Judas was reproved by Jesus because he had criticized Mary for pouring expensive oil on Jesus’ feet. By the time of Matthew 26, Judas had spent four days among his fellow disciples subtly weaving his wicked will into their hearts. Motivated by Satan who envied the glory of God, Judas in just four days successfully stole some of the respect for Jesus that the disciples held. Neither Judas nor the disciples realized what spirit was motivating their actions, but Jesus did.
Just as in the Garden of Eden, where Eve’s decision to eat the forbidden fruit was based on a lie that had penetrated her heart, so now the disciples would take up Judas’ righteous-looking cause against “wasting” expensive oil on Jesus. Like Eve, they thought that their decision was their own and had no idea what Judas had done to them. Like Eve, they were being used by a spirit that was wiser to do evil than they were wise to do good.
In John 12, Lazarus’ sister Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with the oil as he ate. Here in Matthew 26, in the house of Simon the Leper, an unnamed woman poured oil upon Jesus’ head as he ate. At the first supper, Judas rebuked the woman, but now he remained silent and let the other disciples do his dirty work. The angry words they spoke were almost identical to those Judas had spoken just four days previous: “To what purpose is this waste! For this ointment might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”
And Jesus’ response to them was almost identical with his previous response to Judas: “Why do you trouble the woman? for she has done a good thing to me. The poor you always have with you, but me, you do not always have. In that she has poured ointment on my body, she has done it for my burial. Truly I say to you, Wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, shall this that this woman has done be told for a memorial for her.”
In the very next verse, we are told that Judas went out to meet with the chief priests in Jerusalem to make his wicked bargain to betray the Lord. Judas had endured patiently (or so it seemed) Jesus’ rebuke of him personally just four days before. What was it, then, about Jesus’ rebuke of the other disciples that provoked Judas to such anger that he decided to sell Jesus out?
Tomorrow: Why Judas the Slanderer betrayed his Lord.