March 20: Death and Devotion (Matthew 26:1-13)
This Sunday Daniel Harman will conclude the series Living as a Church at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament book of Exodus).
When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”
Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
The disciples had asked Jesus, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus responded by teaching the twelve at length the manner in which they should expect the kingdom of heaven to be fulfilled. The coming age of the kingdom is certain, it will come unexpectedly, and all people should seek to live by faith as good stewards, for there will be a distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous in judgment.
This is how the end of the age will come. Jesus concludes all of this teaching with a more immediate prediction: “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Matthew then records several responses to Jesus. The religious leaders predictably proceed with their plot to kill Jesus. A nameless woman anoints Jesus, an act of deep worship. The disciples demonstrate coldness, indignant at the woman’s expression of love. These responses should cause us to reflect on how we see Jesus and how we respond to his death on the cross.
Review and Apply
1. Why did Jesus refer to himself as the Son of Man and what does this title indicate about him?
2. How does the title Son of Man contrast with the idea of being crucified?
3. Jesus understood his identity to be Son of Man but also suffering servant. What are some other ways that Jesus understood his own identity?
4. Do you think of Jesus in the same ways Jesus thinks of himself? How does reflection on Jesus as Son of Man and suffering servant lead you to worship him?
5. Is your general response to Jesus most like the religious leaders, the nameless woman, the disciples, or Judas )vv. 14-16)?
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