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Friday, 4 November 2011

Day 309: The corn of wheat

Darkness gathers around Jesus.
The sheep and the goats
Matthew 25:31-46
The plot against Jesus
Matthew 26:1-5, Mark 14:1-2, Luke 22:1-2
Mary anoints Jesus
Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9
Judas turns traitor
Matthew 26: 14-16, Mark 14:10-11, Luke 22:3-6
Gentiles desire to see Jesus
John 12:20-36
The Jews reject him
John 12:37-43
Jesus, the light of the world
John 12:44-50
Preparation for the Passover
Matthew 26:17-19, Mark 14:12-16, Luke 22:7-13

It seems that the parable of the sheep and goats is the last straw for Jesus’ enemies, and perhaps for one of his friends too. Not because of its message of judgement - nothing new there really, it’s what prophets have been saying for centuries. What would have upset them is the claim that Jesus himself would be doing the judging - that is God’s role, so this was a claim to be equal with God, and that of course is blasphemy, punishable by death.
Matthew immediately tells us that they laid plans to kill him, and Jesus starts talking as though his end is near. Two days to go until Passover begins, and at the end of that week, Jesus will be dead. When he is anointed in Bethany, he talks about his burial, and all this talk of the end is finally enough to tip Judas over the edge - he offers to tell the chief priests where they can find Jesus alone, away from the adoring crowds. What made him do this? Nobody knows, but I would guess he has finally decided that Jesus is not the sort of messiah he wanted. More interested in the devotion of a nobody - a woman - than the financial worth of her offering (the perfume could have been sold for a princely sum). More interested in goading the religious leaders than doing anything about the Romans. More interested in people who didn’t matter, rather than the sort of powerful allies a revolutionary leader would need. Whatever his reasons, Judas prepares himself to be the instrument of the fulfilment of Jesus’ gloomy prophecies about his demise.

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