Friday in the Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 26:1-16 Mark 14:1-11; Luke 22:1-6; John 12:2-8

Hearts Exposed

In the Gospel of Luke where Jesus’ birth is recorded, there is the occasion when Joseph and Mary take Jesus to the temple to present him before the Lord.  There they meet Simeon, that godly old man who was told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw the Lord’s Christ.  Simeon, led by the Spirit, enters the temple when the holy family arrives.  He takes the baby up in his arms, pronounces a blessing, and then says, “This child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed … so that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

So that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed; that’s exactly what Jesus and his gospel does.  And here in this passage, several hearts are revealed.  First, there are the hearts of the members of the Sanhedrin that want Jesus arrested and killed, but by stealth.  Theirs is a political plan, but for the good of the people, of course (John 11:50).  It’s hard being a nation’s leaders and making the tough decisions, but someone has to do it.

Second is Mary’s heart which is full of devotion to her Lord.  It matters not how much the perfume costs; it matters not that she anoints both his head and feet; it matters not that she expresses the greatest form of humility by wiping his feet with her hair.  All that matters to her is him, and she will spare nothing, neither money nor dignity, to show him how much she loves him.  And as Jesus foretold, the whole world knows of her extravagant love.

Third is the disciples’ hearts, full of jealousy, I think.  Here, this woman just outdid them in showing devotion to their Lord.  They had lived with him for three years, and instead of thinking how they might serve him, they argued on occasions over which of themselves was the greatest!

And last is the heart of Judas Iscariot.  John records that it was primarily him who protested this “waste,” not that he was concerned for the poor but for his own sticky fingers.  Stung by Jesus’ rebuke, and giving place to the devil, he now runs to the chief priests and betrays his master for thirty pieces of silver, the penalty paid if one’s ox gored a slave to death (Exodus 21:32, ESV Study Bible note).  So that’s how much Christ was worth to Judas.

Simeon was right: “So that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”  The gospel does that.  It shines the light in both the dark and lovely places, exposing us to ourselves.  May our hearts be like that of Mary.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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