Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

Matthew 26:14-16 New International Version (NIV) Judas

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 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. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Judas was greedy and from his greed, stemmed other sins like lying to his master and the other apostles and his lack of concern for others, shown by stealing the funds that Jesus had reserved to help the poor, (John 12:4-6).

The sin of selfishness and pride makes one to only think of their own pleasures and comfort, disregarding the welfare of the neighbour and others. Judas could not keep to the teaching of Jesus of loving Him and obeying His commandments (John 14:15), Judas could not obey or believe in Jesus as the Messiah of an eternal spiritual Kingdom. He was with Jesus for personal profit and pride: his greed and selfishness, living in the fallen world made him blind to Jesus’ teachings. It is bad to steal, it is even worse to steal from the needy and poor. Yet, Judas was conceited and selfish. He gave himself willingly to his greed and passions, even when he was aware that Jesus knew what was inside of his heart, (John 2:24); in reality, Jesus knew what Judas was doing. Thus, Judas was not deceiving Jesus, but Judas was deceiving himself.

Prayer

Father, please forgive us of greed, selfish ambition, idolatry, conceit and arrogance. Forgive us for loving earthly things and placing them over you. Forgive us for not being good stewards of your blessings. Help us to renounce any gods of materialism. Father, please help us to spend wisely and not excessively. Help us to be better stewards of the resources you have blessed us with. Holy Spirit, please help us to be more disciplined with our lifestyles. Father, help us to learn to be content with what we have instead of always wanting more.

 

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree

Matthew 21:18-22 NIV Fig tree

Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Jesus spotted a fig tree that was full of covering of leaves. Its foliage was a sign that it had figs. But to His disappointment there were none. The tree not only failed to produce fruit but also gave an impression of being fruitful but having no evidence of it. He was disappointed and cursed it and immediately the tree withered.

It is surprising how Jesus answered His disciples when asked to explain the miracle; He quickly twists the subject and talks about faith and prayer. He was telling them they will be the agents of transforming people to come to the Kingdom of God. They will be the nucleus of Christ-followers that will extend branches worldwide and brings forth fruit from all nations. Jesus teaches here that, they will do this by the power of faithful prayers.

 Prayer

Jesus may we learn and know the importance of faithful prayer in our walk with you. May the Holy Spirit help us bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control and help us bring many people to your Kingdom.

Jesus at the TempleHolyWeekMonday Jesus

Mark 11:15-18 (NIV):
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.”

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King – Triumphant Entry
Palm Sunday Jesus

Matthew 21:8
A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

The Palm Sunday is so significant in the ministry of Jesus on earth that it is mentioned in all the four Gospels. Jesus entered Jerusalem knowing full well that He was going to die; to offer as a sacrifice Himself for the sins of all mankind.

Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world

Just a really quick thought for the day today.  These words from Psalm 19 remind us that although we may be stuck indoors for much of the following weeks, unless you work in an essential role (if you do – Thank you for all you do for us all!), there is a world full of wonder outside just waiting for us to go and see it again.

I recently heard the phrase ‘You are what you eat’ and in a flash, it took me right back to being 6 years old and wondering (in a state of sheer panic) what would happen to me next. To put that comment into context, I had just had a bite of an apple, prepared by my grandmother I think, and I had swallowed an apple pip. This was serious, this was a major problem and I was really quite upset. But why? Because if you are what you eat then how long would it be before I turned into an apple tree!!! I went seeking advice from my grandfather who was a doctor, and I asked him how long the operation would be to get the tree out of me. It is fair to say he did, as far as memory allows me to be certain, look very confused. When I had explained what had happened, and after he had stopped laughing (I didn’t think this was a joking matter I can assure you) my grandfather explained what the phrase actually meant and cancelled the emergency operation! Be nice to me, I was only 6!

Today is the 1st of April, traditionally a time when many of us would try and prank each other, and for many of us we would become the focus of a prank. It would be a time of humour. But today, for me, feels ever so slightly different. As the world comes to terms with what has happened since Christmas it has taken on a more serious note. Now humour definitely has its place, even in the hardest and harshest of times, it has a restorative power few things can match, it is a relief valve found in pressured environments – it is the gallows humour found in emergency response staffrooms up and down this country. Humour is so important, don’t let go of giving it or receiving it.