October 14

Text: Matthew 27:6-10

And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood."  And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter's Field as a burial place for strangers.  For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.  Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, "AND THEY TOOK THE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER, THE PRICE OF THE ONE WHOSE PRICE HAD BEEN SET by the sons of Israel; AND THEY GAVE THEM FOR THE POTTER'S FIELD, AS THE LORD DIRECTED ME." (NASB)

The chief priests’ reaction to the money Judas returned provides insight.  Jesus addressed the motive that prompted the act as being as important as the act (see Matthew 6:1; 23:5; 23:13-36).  Here, the chief priests who were unconcerned about the injustice to Jesus were concerned about contaminating the temple treasury with the silver given to Judas.  The injustice against Jesus was “lawful,” but an improper use of the bribery money was “unlawful.”  The bribery money “lawfully” could buy land for a cemetery for “strangers,” but it could not “lawfully” be a part of the temple treasury.  Go figure! 

Does that sound like some “church reasoning” heard today?  And we wonder why some people do not take Christians seriously!  Even most people with no commitment to God understand that “justice to people” is more important than “the religious tasks of funds!”  People are living needs!  Funds are used!

Even as Matthew wrote perhaps (the date is undetermined) some twenty years later, the land was still there, still called the “Field of Blood.”  Perhaps that suggests that the good we do commonly is hard to remember, but that the evil we do dies hard—if it dies at all!

It takes great courage to project a consistent righteous image over a lifetime.  Powerful temptations never cease.  Awkward situations never stop being a part of our life experiences.  Hindsight constantly reveals our poor choices.  Our mistakes become even more evident as time passes.  As we age, we mature.  As we mature, we change.  As we change, our changes appear to be inconsistencies.

Have the courage to grow.  Have the courage to mature.  Have the courage to change.  Have the courage to be loyal to God.  Have the courage to exemplify Jesus’ values.

Suggestion for reflection: Define the courage of commitment to Christ.  (Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17.)

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