30 Pieces of Silver or 300 Denarii? – Your Choice

Scripture Reading - Matthew 26:1-16
The chief priests and elders were gathered together in the court of the High Priest.  They planned seize Him at some point and they would kill Him.  Unbeknown to them at the time, one of Jesus’ own had determined to make a deal with them.  He would arrange a convenient time and place where they could arrest Him and whisk Him off to jail before the crowds heard much about it.  It would cost them, but he would do it if the price was right!  They would then be able to control the narrative, turn the tables and make Jesus the guilty one deserving of death.
It seemed likely to fail at the time.  Jesus was, by most accounts, the most popular figure in Jerusalem and they were “swimming upstream” as far as the polls might have shown.  But they forged ahead.  The decision was made, money exchanged, and it was now only a matter of time.  They would kill Him.  30 pieces of silver.
While all of this was going on Jesus was, according to some scholars, spending the day in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  Their home had been a refuge for Him across the years and it is assumed that they provided a safe haven for Him when He was in the area.  Even the Son of God needed a safe place to rest and prepare for coming events.  That’s true of all of us.
The serendipity of this passage is the event at the home of Simon the leper.  It is presumed that Simon was one of the lepers healed by Jesus.  While there for a meal, a woman slipped into the room and breaking open an expensive vial of perfume, began to anoint his feet.  It was an extraordinary moment and one that was offensive to His disciples and, perhaps other guests.  Both Mark (14:3-9) and John (12:3) share this same story and John tells us that the woman was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.  The perfume was said to have a value of over 300 denarii – over 300 day’s wages – it should have been given to the poor.  Nearly a year’s wages and “wasted” in worship of our Lord.  This, evidently, was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for Judas.
“Wasted” they said.  The disciples said, “a waste!”  It was pure worship and adoration on the part of Mary.  Jesus’ first meeting with His dear friends is described in Luke 10:38-42:  "38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  He said to Martha that she was “worried and bothered about so many things.”  Jesus said, “only one thing is necessary.”
The world is still plotting, and our Lord is still being betrayed every day.  People are still “selling” Him for the “30 pieces of silver.”  People are still “worried and bothered” by so many things.  Even in the church we find this worry and bother and anxiety.  
Could it be that we need to learn how to worship;  how to forget the cost and lose ourselves in Him?  When Jesus said that we must “count the cost” of following Him He didn’t mean that we needed to look at our checkbook!  He meant that we should lay our time and our talents and our treasure at His feet and make worship the priority of our lives.  We should choose the good part.  Sit at His feet more often.  Enjoy His presence.  Worship.
Heavenly Father, give to me a heart like that of Mary.  I confess that I am too often worried and bothered.  Let me lose myself in You.  Teach me how to worship!  Amen
On the journey . . .

1 Comment

Carl Eby - December 6th, 2023 at 12:11pm

Yes,Mary chose the best part! We must pour out ourselves on Jesus,and worship him and the Father and the Holy Spirit,,often,,