Earthen Vessels

My husband Jim was preaching from the book of Matthew, chapter 26 verses 22-25 when I noticed something. This is Matthew’s record of the last Passover meal that Jesus would be sharing with His disciples. Toward the end of the supper He tells them something that truly upsets them … He tells them that one of them is going to betray Him. Puzzled, they all begin to question Him about who it is? Each one, almost in turn asking, “Lord, is it I?” that is until it comes to Judas … notice what he says “Master, is it I?”

Had you ever noticed that before? Judas does not address Jesus as LORD … rather, he calls Him Master, another word for Rabbi. That question is very telling in Judas’ relationship with Jesus … he never had a real relationship with Him. For Judas, it was always about the possibility of personal gain. Matthew is the only one who gives this telling fact about Judas. I believe this is why God gives us ‘four’ Gospels … each one reveals or adds to our understanding of what God is trying to teach us from His Word.

He is constantly reaching out to us, desiring our worship and praise, which rightfully belong to Him and to Him only. There is someone who showed so much love and admiration to Jesus before His crucifixion and that was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, but even before that, Mary was totally devoted to the Savior. 

When she makes her way to the house of Simon the leper and brings the spikenard to willingly give it all to Jesus, the others present were some of the Pharisees and the disciples. (John records that Judas is the one that becomes indignant at her indulgence towards the Savior). There is nothing recorded that Mary said anything, simply that she comes in, breaks the alabaster box containing the spikenard (a very expensive perfume, worth a year’s wages). She breaks the alabaster container and pours it on the head of Jesus and on His feet.

The fragrance must have filled the room quickly. Judas begins to reprimand her for being “wasteful” with something that is very expensive and could have been sold to feed a lot of poor people. Isn’t it funny how we can come up with an excuse, trying to cover our own sin of covetousness, which is the real reason we object to something? Judas could not have cared less about the poor, he was interested in the money, because he was the treasurer for the disciples, in charge of all the money that was given. But our wonderful Savior defends Mary. Not only does He defend her but commends her and says that down through the ages her act of devotion and worship will be remembered.

I am sure there were ‘signs’ all along that Judas was not what he wanted everyone to believe he was. And there are people today who are the same way, “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” When we get to heaven, I am sure there will be surprises as to who is there and who isn’t … when Jesus told the parable of the 10 virgins, there were five wise and five foolish … the foolish had no oil. In the scriptures, the oil always represents the Holy Spirit … all the virgins ‘seemed’ to be the same, but half of them did not have the Holy Spirit living within them. How about you?

Does the Holy Spirit live within you? If you know Jesus as your Savior, He does. But if you have never invited Jesus into your heart and life, He does not, and you are just “playing” church … you are not a true believer. It is my heart’s desire that you know Jesus as LORD not just as master or Rabbi.

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