Matthew 26:14-46 – March 28
Our online study in the Gospel of Matthew ends April 3. We’ll be doing a 10-day study in the book of James next, starting April 6. Read today’s scripture, journal on it using SOAP, then please share as we encourage one another in this one thing. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
The Last Supper
17 On the first day of the Festival 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 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”
23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Cannot Serve Both God and Money | Becky Newman
Judas appears to be a prime example of how we cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24). Right before Judas agrees to betray Jesus in today’s reading is the story of “a woman” pouring expensive perfume over Jesus’ feet (John 12 says the woman is Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, once again sitting at the feet of Jesus). Matthew 26:8 says the disciples were indignant at this action because they thought it was wasteful, but John is more specific that it was Judas who had a problem with it. From John 12:4, “But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” And here, Judas chooses 30 pieces of silver over his relationship with Jesus. My Bible notes that 30 pieces of silver is the same value as a slave gored to death accidentally by an ox as recorded in Exodus 21:32. And note that Matthew records later in 27:4-5 that Judas showed remorse and returned the money, but then he killed himself.
Judas lost his relationship with Jesus over his love of money, and he also lost his front row seat in eternity as one of the disciples’ first actions in Acts was to appoint a new 12th disciple to take Judas’ spot. Just like Judas had easy access to the money bag, I have such easy access to money and stuff. But I have easy access to You too as long as I don’t let my easy access to money/stuff distract me from You and Your mission for me. It has to be a constant heart check because it’s a slippery slope into the love of money and the worship of comfort and security over the worship of You. On April 18th, our Discover One Thing online study will start a topical study on this subject and explore some good heart-checking scriptures when it comes to growing our hearts in contentment and generosity.
Lord, help me always to choose You, to love You and serve You, over money and stuff. Reveal the areas where I need to work on this, and through Your awesome Spirit, change my heart to fully serve You.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.