For the NFL or NBA playoffs, it is very common for sportscasters to do a comparison of the teams. They compare the teams right next to each other. Team one’s quarterback versus Team two’s quarterback. Team A’s point guard versus Team B’s point guard. Quite frankly, I enjoy these comparisons.
Well, I want to see a comparison of Mary of Bethany and Judas Iscariot. To be honest, Mary gets all the A’s and Judas gets all the F’s. He is a bad dude and she is an awesome woman. These two people made three decisions. I want to go through them so we cannot only learn what they were but apply them as followers of Christ.
In Matthew 26 we read about Jesus visiting the house of a leper. First of all, isn’t that cool? Jesus visiting a leper. We may not know any lepers, but let’s be like Jesus. Let’s visit the sick.
Mary of Bethany approaches Jesus with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume. She pours it on His head. When the disciples see this, they become bothered. They tell her she is not only wasting costly perfume but that she could have sold it and given the money to the poor. Jesus intervenes and tells the disciples that Mary did a noble thing for Him. Jesus says, “‘Truly I tell you: Wherever the Gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.’”
The very same chapter tells the story of Judas Iscariot. He was the disciple who betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Here, Matthew says that Judas went to the chief priests and asked what they would give him in exchange for Jesus. Judas planned when he would betray Jesus.
Now, if you know anything about the Bible, you know at this point in the Gospels that Jesus and the chief priests have been at odds a long time. The religious leaders of the day were not too fond of Jesus anymore. They tried to get Him in trouble by asking him difficult questions, but Jesus kept stumping them.
This brings me to decision number one: What places are you going to? Judas went where he shouldn’t have gone. He deliberately went to the priests, knowing they were against Jesus. Think about the places you are going. Are you going to places and people that are for, or against, Jesus?