The betrayers end!
Scripture reading for August 4th: Matthew 27
Key Scriptures: Matthew 27:3-8 ‘Then when Judas, His betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Therefore, it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.”
Judas is an interesting figure in history and his life and final end stand as a warning to all who follow Jesus of the perils of intimate knowledge of Jesus without faith to believe and obey. Judas was one of the Twelve who walked with Jesus for three or more years. Judas was the trusted treasurer of the band of disciples. Judas was sent out and did miracles and preached the good news. But Judas was a thief and betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. After seeing Jesus condemned to be crucified, Judas had remorse and tried to return the money to the religious leaders. He went out and hanged himself, taking his own life instead of asking Jesus and God for forgiveness. The Pharisees had no care for his soul nor remorse or repentance for their part in the scheme. Their religious minds, seeking to justify taking the ‘blood money’, used it to benevolently by a field to bury strangers. They did all this without remorse or repentance to keep a good face and reputation. Jesus was right in saying they were white-washed tombs full of dead-man’s bones!
Matthew 23:27-28 “”Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.””
Faith confession and prayer: Father, help me to heed the warning of the life and end of Judas and those who schemed with him. Keep me from hypocrisy and lead me daily by Your Holy Spirit to speak truth and live a life true to Your Word and heart for lost people. Help me to examine my own heart for idolatry and hypocrisy as I receive holy communion.
Matthew 27:9-10 “Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him on Whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.” (Zechariah 11:12-13)