Tag: potter’s field

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)

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Remorse and repentance!

Scripture reading for February 11th: Matthew 26:69-27:14, Psalm 31, Proverbs 8:33-36

In our passage for today we have the personal stories of two of Jesus’ close disciples.  Peter had denied Jesus three times, even calling down curses on himself!  Just hours earlier, Jesus had predicted that Peter would do that.  (Matthew 26:33-35)  Peter had faithfully sworn that he was willing to die with Jesus rather than deny Him.  He failed miserably.  (Matthew 26:74-75)  Judas was the treasurer of the band of disciples.  He had betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and had brought the soldiers and religious leaders to the Garden of Gethsemane, kissing Jesus to identify Him.

Jesus knew beforehand about how each of these men would react during His appointment with Passover.  He was compassionate toward both of them, but knew how they would ultimately respond.  Some people struggle with how Judas was left to kill himself and Peter was ultimately restored.  They feel that God is somehow unfair.  We must understand why our personal response to God must be real repentance and not just remorse!

Judas walked with Jesus for over three years.  He was treasurer of the group and Scripture records that he was a thief, often stealing from the bag for his personal needs.  He betrayed Jesus for the thirty pieces of silver.  At the final Passover meal, Jesus announced that one at the table would betray Him.  Judas asked if it was him and Jesus identified him as the one who would betray him.  (Matthew 26:20-25)  He did betray Him and when He saw that Jesus was condemned, Judas was filled with remorse and threw the money back into the temple.  He then went out and hanged himself.

Both Peter and Judas were disciples who followed Jesus and experienced the miracles and great teaching.  Both failed the Lord, along with all their fellow disciples.  Peter wept bitterly over his denials but found true repentance and restoration, going on to become one of the great leaders of the early church.  Judas was full of remorse, but failed to trust God for forgiveness and restoration.  He instead took his punishment into his own hands and committed suicide.  Remorse and repentance sound similar, but are very different.  Remorse is only sorrow over sin, often just sorrow over being found out.  Repentance is sorrow that produces a change in behavior and attitude. (2nd Corinthians 7:8-11)  One leads to hell, the other to heaven!

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See! Your King Comes!

Scripture reading for October 2nd: Zechariah 9-11

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken.  He will proclaim peace to the nations.  His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” Zechariah 9:9-10

Zechariah was very specific about the coming ruler who will be both a priest and a king.  This coming one would not be a great conqueror who would ruthlessly devour the nations or subdue them with strong-arm tactics.  Instead, He would come gently, armed with weapons of righteousness and salvation.  He would also be riding on the colt of a donkey.  He would come proclaiming peace to all peoples and nations!  His rule would extend to the ends of the earth!  What a picture of Jesus Christ! (Matthew 21:2-4)

This gentle King, who announces peace, will also save and restore His people!  Because of the blood of His covenant, He will free the prisoners!  (Zechariah 9:11)  Not only that, He will restore them double!  The Lord will save His flock like a shepherd from their enemies and they will sparkle like jewels in a crown.  (Zechariah 9:16-17)

The people of God were to ask the Lord for rain in the springtime.  God gives showers of rain to the just and unjust, but He is responsive to His people.  God was tired of shepherds who oppressed the people and promised that He, Himself, would care for the flock.  He would raise up from Judah one who would be the cornerstone and the tent peg.  He would bring forth the battle bow and every ruler would come from Him.  (Zechariah 10:4)  This again is a reference to Jesus Christ, who came from the tribe of Judah and became the chief cornerstone of the new temple!  He was a peg driven in a firm place and a mighty warrior!

This King would do many things for God’s people!  There are many “I will” statements in Zechariah 10.  Included in these statements are promises to strengthen the house of Judah and have compassion on them.  God promises to be their God and to hear and answer them.  (Zechariah 10:6-12)  He will gather them from where they have been scattered and they will walk in His name!

A final reference to this king is found in Zechariah 11:12-13 where the statement about the price of thirty pieces of silver for the pay of the shepherd was made.  It was to be thrown to the potter!  Zechariah had again left a significant word that signified that Jesus Christ was Messiah and described Judas’ betrayal for the thirty pieces of silver!  (Matthew 27:3-10)

Our King is coming again!  This time as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  Are you ready to meet Him?  Humble yourself today and ask Him to rule in your heart and life!

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