In Matthew’s Gospel he interrupts the trial narrative to highlight a conversation between the religious leaders and Judas (Matt 27:3-10). This passage often provokes the question, “Did Judas really repent?” But, from the beginning, a reader should note, this paragraph is not about Judas. It’s about the religious leaders.
I cannot blame people for focusing on Judas. Even the publishers of the NASB Bible title this section, “Judas’s Remorse.” But read through the discourse taking note of who Matthew highlights. Judas is the instigator in this conversation, but Matthew wants us to note the religious leaders’ responses.
Here is a basic outline:
Judas observes Jesus’s condemnation and returns the silver to the chief priest and elders.
Being a pastor is a high
calling, but a very strange job. And one
of the strangest things I do is to read bad books. Not bad in the sense that
they are poorly written, but bad in the sense that though they purport to be
Christian resources they are so deeply flawed they are not just non-edifying,
they are dangerous to the believers who read and are influenced by them. And I
just read a doozy, Girl, Wash Your Face
by Rachel Hollis (published by Thomas Nelson).
Reading through your Bible has become a year-end advertisement, resolution, and chore list. I would like to encourage you not to not do it. This may seem like an odd request, but I want to drive past the activity and look at the heart. I don’t want you to grab a plan, make plans, and follow through with those plans so you can say you read through your Bible.
I would rather you simply say, “I’m committed to learning about my Lord and Savior, therefore I need to read my Bible because it is the source of light in this dark world.”
In the midst of a contentious discussion that doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere, have you ever had someone tell you, “You always think you’re right!” In my less sanctified moments, I have said, “Of course I do. Don’t you always think you are right?” If you thought you were wrong you would have to be a special kind of arrogant to argue for a position you don’t actually believe. People have a sense of right and wrong and are willing to quarrel to prove their rightness. The truth is, I’m not always right, but I always think I am.
This post is born out of my own heart as I process how I should think about disagreements.… Continue reading
As we move through the Christmas season, so often despite our best intentions, we can lose the proper focus. We know that there is no Christmas without Christ, but we can become practical secularists, worried about making sure there are enough cookies baked, that the house is ready for the arrival of out of town guests and of course that the right presents are purchased, wrapped and delivered to the right people.
But as we celebrate Christmas, it is of the utmost importance that we remember the first Christmas gift ever given. I am not referring to the gold, frankincense and myrrh brought to the Christ child, but to the Christ child Himself.… Continue reading