Thursday Morning, 24 Oct 2019 – Matthew 26:1-19 ~ The conspiracy unfolds.

Thursday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Guidance – Thursday)

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: Guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our lives we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 26:1-19 (NLT)

The Plot to Kill Jesus

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.

The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”

But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

The Last Supper

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?”

“As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.
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Morning Reflection:

The conspiracy unfolds.

At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest,
plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.
– Matthew 26:3-4 –

In today’s reading, Matthew surrounds Jesus with a wide range of characters – each with their own relationship to Jesus, each with their own agenda. Most of them fade from memory, but two will be remembered forever.

  1. The woman who anointed Jesus – “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
  2. Judas who betrayed Jesus – “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver.”

But there are several other interesting characters in the background –

  • Simon whom Jesus’ healed of leprosy welcomed Jesus into his home as a gesture of gratitude.
  • The disciples who chided the woman for wasting her resources instead of attending to the needs of the poor.
  • The religious leaders who rejected and secretly plotted against Jesus, careful not to incense the crowd.
  • The crowd, religious in form, but passive concerning Jesus.
  • The man who opened his home for Jesus and the disciples to celebrate the Passover.

Each one of these characters experienced Jesus differently and responded accordingly. but with very different consequences for them and those around them.

Questions for consideration:

  • With whom do you identify in today’s reading? Please explain.
  • Can you identify some of these characters in the contemporary world in which you live? Please explain.
  • Each of these characters respond to Jesus with varying degrees of enthusiasm, both positive and negative. How would you rate their levels of enthusiasm? Please explain.
  • How would you like to be remembered by future believers? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer – A Covenant Prayer – John Wesley

I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which
I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
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“Jesus At The Center” – Darlene Zschech

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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