25 Days of December: Matthew Chapter 26

Let’s keep going! On to chapter 26!

If this is your first time reading in this series, please feel free to find the “25 Days of December” category in the sidebar and read through the study we’ve done here on the book of Matthew! Lots of good stuff in here. This chapter can hardly be properly summarized in bullet points for every line is full of love, sacrifice, and grace. This is the chapter that prepares us for the cross. There is no summarizing that! I just wanted to point out a few things that may be missed in all of the excitement.

Main points for this chapter:

  • Blessing Jesus will not always be popular
  • Some of the most dedicated followers will become traitors
  • Keep praying, even during the still moments
  • Don’t be pressured into denying your faith

 

  • Blessing Jesus will not always be popular

Matthew 26:6-13 (The Message): “When Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper, a woman came up to him as he was eating dinner and anointed him with a bottle of very expensive perfume. When the disciples saw what was happening, they were furious. ‘That’s criminal! This could have been sold for a lot and the money handed out to the poor.’ When Jesus realized what was going on, he intervened. ‘Why are you giving this woman a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives, but not me. When she poured this perfume on my body, what she really did was anoint me for burial, what she has just done is going to be remembered and admired.’

 

To the world, we WILL look crazy sometimes. What would you think  if instead of giving to the food pantry one month, a family decided to go out on a limb and offer to buy $300 worth of groceries for someone in their bible study who appears to be doing just fine? Would it raise questions? Is there a possibility it could offend the recipient? Maybe so, but you will never know until you try. That family who seems to be doing very well for themselves could have lost their job that day and no one even knew. If you hear a whisper from God, listen! No matter the risks. People WILL judge your actions. They WILL wonder why you choose to help the people you do. When you listen to the whispers, you are blessing God instead of the world. There will always be people who are less fortunate. There will also always be a gazillion other people on the planet who have the option to help, as well. This woman had one chance to anoint Jesus for burial. One chance. She was obedient and Jesus recognized her for it.

  • Some of the most dedicated followers will become traitors

Matthew 26:23 (The Message): “‘The one who hands me over is someone I eat with daily, one who passes me food at the table.'”

Did you grow up with a family who was dedicated to the church, never missing a Sunday or a church gathering? Do you follow a credible evangelist on the television who has helped guide you for years? Do you have someone you go to with every personal battle or question?

Please, don’t put them on a pedestal they don’t belong on. For we are ALL human and it only takes a kick to knock that pedestal right out from under them. They have flaws and they sin and Jesus says in this verse that the one who hands Him over is someone very close to him. Those who appear to be the most faithful Christians on the planet may very well be the first to crack under pressure. Make sure that you are always digging into the Word and finding answers through prayer, for those who guide you may not always be there.

  • Keep praying, even during the still moments

Matthew 26:41 (NIV): “‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'”

Matthew 26:41 (The Message): “‘Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger…..'”

Even in the moments of waiting or the times where life is going pretty good for us, we must always remain in prayer. This world is harsh and we are human. It takes only one single action or word to drag us into temptation. Prayer is our lifeline, always feeding us the truth. Don’t wait until you have given into the world and are sinking in quicksand to call out to our Father.

  • Don’t be pressured into denying your faith

Matthew 26:74-75 (The Message): “Then he got really nervous and swore. ‘I don’t know the man!’ Just then a rooster crowed. Peter remembered what Jesus has said: ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’ He went out and cried and cried and cried.”

By nature, we tend to follow the crowd and do what makes us fit in. These are natural instincts. We tend to go into survival mode, for if you fit in with the crowd you can travel with them and share food/shelter with them (in a survival situation). That is what the world tells us.

God has promised that he will provide for us and we do not need to turn to the world for acceptance. We must never deny our faith under pressure in order to “fit in.” He will see our loyalty and reward it.

 

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5 thoughts on “25 Days of December: Matthew Chapter 26

  1. “To the world, we WILL look crazy sometimes. ”

    And to the church, and actually pretty much all the time. At least in my experience. I read a book (a quasi commentary) on Colossians a few years ago that radicalized me and pretty much destroyed my life – the life I thought I wanted – and put me in a very strange (often shunned) juxtaposition with my church and the world around us. I began to view my life, my faith, my purpose as subverting the way God’s creation is ordered by the powers and principalities that give him no allegiance. And like a surgeons knife cutting (which in and of itself is damage causing and painful), I became part of his healing power in the world he made. And sure enough, it looks crazy a lot of the time.

    “Those who appear to be the most faithful Christians on the planet may very well be the first to crack under pressure. Make sure that you are always digging into the Word and finding answers through prayer, for those who guide you may not always be there.”

    I have had this experience with my church! My own church proved to be traitors!!! as they preferred their White-middle-class, American dream to the dreams and visions me and my friends were having like in Joel 2:28. In fact at two of them. I got shunned at one and kicked out of the other. Was I cussing? fornicating? drinking? cheating or lying? No. This was not about me being an unrepentant sinner, it was about me insisting that we open our doors to the poor and let them in! And when I kept showing up to committee meetings, shepherd meetings, exchanging emails, text messages, and phone calls with Scripture citations to make my point, AND when they answered my Scripture citations stubbornly with worldly wisdom and could NOT offer ANY Scriptures to back up their resistance, they finally just kicked me out with a warning not to criminal trespass the property again! Wow! And yes… I pray for them regularly!

    “Keep praying, even during the still moments”

    I suppose you might call this a still moment in Jesus’s life since it’s setting is a garden late at night where people stop to sleep. But, I sense it is actually a quite turbulent moment in Jesus’s life. He is actually anticipating his time is about up. What’s interesting is that he could have run away at that moment from that place and The Bible already demonstrates that he could have got away! Remember when David ran from Absalom? When Absalom, his son usurped the throne of his father David and slept with all of his wives and concubines, he then set out to pursue David with the idea that he could catch him and kill him. David was on the run, alright, and it so happens he took exactly this route out of Jerusalem toward Bethany, but of course he kept going on into the desert where he regrouped and came back. AND, it so happens, he stopped at this same garden spot!

    If you go to Gethsemane, you will notice it is a garden rest stop midway up the Mount of Olives mountain climb out of the Kidron valley just opposite the Temple Mount. The trail leading through the valley has all these switchbacks on it going both directions. Descending is easy, but climbing is hard. You need a rest stop along the way, and Gethsemane provides it on the Mount of Olives side.

    Jesus is there praying in the night with his disciples who seem clueless about the betrayal under way. They keep falling asleep in prayer… a problem many of us suffer with even today. Jesus, though, knows what is coming and he pleads with his friends to pray and keep watch.

    I presume that shortly after they fall asleep again, the mob of soldiers and temple guards with their swords and torches begin making their way down the switchbacks on the Temple Mount side of the valley. Jesus, the only one still awake praying, can see them coming. He knows David made this escape, so if he gets up to run, he can too. But instead he stays and prays “Your will not mine”, this just a few days after picking a fight in the temple with it’s leadership by throwing tables in church! They now have a plan to get him under cover of darkness! And he prays and waits and KEEPS WATCH as his real battle is about to begin!!!

    “We must never deny our faith under pressure in order to “fit in.” ”

    Thx for this exhortation. I have felt that pressure, alright. Still do. And even now, I just largely go ignored. If you cant already tell, my faith and my witness is very subversive. It actually feels really hostile to the complacency around me. I champion the cause of my homeless friends sleeping in the cold and wet (it rained a January midnight rain here in Lubbock last night, and just this morning I witnessed homeless men hunkering down in blankets (wonder how they stayed dry)), but not one single church in this town opened the doors to these people last night because the temperature did not fall below 32 degrees before 5pm.

    Apparently the love of God for the poor doesn’t kick in until the temp is freezing before 5pm in Lubbock, Texas…! Ha! NOT!!! But you wouldn’t know that looking at his people here! And No. I don’t “fit in” with that! I face pressure to every day, but I don’t fit in. And yes, that hurts.

    Thanx for the Bible Study!

    Keep it up…

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    1. Your comment was so appreciated! I say was because I red it for the first time yesterday and have read it a couple times since. I feel we have a lot in common. I love learning from others! Thank you for the Substance in your reply! Teachers need fed too! And true teachers are always learning! ❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. We gotta share what we learn here and there where we can. I gotta Sunday School teacher that ACTUALLY TEACHES real stuff to us… not used to that.

        And thanx to you for the post! Glad I found it. I am blessed.

        X

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  2. I love what you said about doing what God wants us to do. Sometimes we don’t understand why God wants us to bless certain people with meals or cards or whatever it may be but if we listen to Him it’ll be a blessing to us. I remember when my husband lost his job two weeks before our son was born and there were so many amazing people who didn’t know he lost his job but blessed us in many ways! God is great!

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