Are You a Plotter, an Anointer, or a Betrayer?
Series: The Gospel Truth (8 Days that Changed the World) Text: Mat. 26:1-25
The roles that were played out during the beginning of what is called “Passion Week” are still being played out today. Like it or not we each may find that we have acted in all the roles a various times. Each of us should examine ourselves to see what role we are playing so far as Jesus is concerned today.
1. The Plot, Then and Now (vv 1-5)
Mt 26:1-5 “1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he told his disciples, 2 “You know that the Passover takes place after two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” 3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the courtyard of the high priest, who was named Caiaphas, 4 and they conspired to arrest Jesus in a treacherous way and kill him. 5 “Not during the festival,” they said, “so there won’t be rioting among the people.”
Caiaphas, the high priest, had a vendetta against Jesus probably because He had cleansed the temple and thrown out those profiting from doing business there. Caiaphas was more than likely getting “kickbacks” from the merchants and money changers. John McArthur notes that every time Caiaphas appears in scripture he is seeking to destroy Jesus.
Almost simultaneously as Jesus was telling His disciples that He would be betrayed, arrested, convicted and killed, Caiphas and the Jewish leaders were hatching a plot to do exactly what Jesus said. However, we see the hand of God intervening. The Jewish leaders did not want to spring their plot during Passover because they feared a riot. However, God’s timetable called for the betrayal, arrest, trial, and death to happen exactly at Passover.
Today we find plots being hatched at the highest levels of government to overthrow Christianity in America. These are not just “happenstances”, but rather are deliberate, planned plots. That is why, as we approach elections, we as believers must be certain that those for whom we vote are not complicit in the move to eliminate Christianity. There are times when believers become plotters by the votes they cast. I have friends who say, “We’re not electing a Messiah, we’re electing a…”(whatever the office might be) The reality is that the character and commitment of an elected leader will determine what they do when in office. Your testimony for Christ can be negated by your political choices. Our lives are not segregated between, “home life, work like, political life and church life”. We only have one life that encompasses all of those. Be certain that you are not a “plotter”.
2. The Anointing, When and How? (vv 6-13)
Mt 26:6-13 “6 While Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman approached him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume. She poured it on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8 When the disciples saw it, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This might have been sold for a great deal and given to the poor.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a noble thing for me. 11 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me. 12 By pouring this perfume on my body, she has prepared me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.””
Prior to going into Jerusalem for celebration of the Passover, Jesus and His disciples were staying in Bethany. While there He was invited to a dinner in the home of Simon, a leper whom Jesus had healed. To get the whole story of what transpired there you must visit Mark and John’s accounts. In Mk 14:5 we find that the perfume was worth a years’ wages. “5 For this perfume might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.”
In John 12:1-3 we are told that the woman was Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha. “1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the one Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there; Martha was serving them, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of perfume, pure and expensive nard, anointed Jesus’s feet, and wiped his feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” Some people say that the woman was Mary Magdalene, but her very name tells us that she was Mary of Magdala, not Mary of Bethany. In Luke 7:36-38 There is an account of another anointing which quite likely was done by Mary Magdalene. “36 Then one of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And a woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster jar of perfume 38 and stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears. She wiped his feet with her hair, kissing them and anointing them with the perfume.”
In both accounts the women involved worshiped Jesus with all they had. The perfume was most likely a dowry given to the women by their families and intended to be opened on their wedding night and poured on the head of their groom. The point is that they gave the best they had in worshipping Jesus.
In 2 Sam 24:24 King David sought to buy a threshing floor on which to offer a burnt offering to God to stop God’s punishment on the people because of David’s sin. They man who owned the property offered to give it and the oxen for sacrifice to David. “24 The king answered Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it from you for a price, for I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for twenty ounces of silver.”
In his own way, David became an “anointer”, because he refused to offer God worship which did not cost him personally. The question we must answer today is “are we offering to God the best that we have? Are we anointing Jesus with worship that costs us something, or are we just “playing church”? We still read about Mary’s act of selfless worship and remember its significance. I wonder if in years to come people will remember any of my acts or worship and find them to be significant. I want to be an anointer.
3. The Betrayal, Then and Now (vv 14-25)
Mt 26:14-25 “14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they weighed out thirty pieces of silver for him. 16 And from that time he started looking for a good opportunity to betray him. 17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18 “Go into the city to a certain man,” he said, “and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time is near; I am celebrating the Passover at your place with my disciples.’ ” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. 20 When evening came, he was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22 Deeply distressed, each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 He replied, “The one who dipped his hand with me in the bowl—he will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him if he had not been born. Judas, His betrayer, replied, ‘Surely not I, Rabbi?’ ‘You have said it,’ He told him.”
Our emphasis today begins with v 21 where Jesus made an alarming statement. All of the disciples were at a loss to know who Jesus might be exposing as His betrayer. Once again John left us a more complete picture of what took place in John 13:26-27 “26 Jesus replied, “He’s the one I give the piece of bread to after I have dipped it.” When he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son. 27 After Judas ate the piece of bread, Satan entered him. So Jesus told him, “What you’re doing, do quickly.”” Judas may not have seen what he was doing as betrayal, yet it was. We may not think that we would ever betray Jesus, but every time we sin, we are betraying Jesus. Every time we hide our Christianity from others, we are betraying Jesus. Every time we deliberately ignore the prompting of Holy Spirit to share the gospel, we are betraying Jesus. So what should we do?
Application: (How will I respond to this message?)
Honestly evaluate your relationship with Jesus. Anything less than total surrender is not acceptable to God.
Confess the times you have betrayed Jesus by your silence or by your words, attitudes or actions that are not Spirit led.