Saturday, October 13, 2012

She Did, He Didn't, and Neither Do We

Something happened a few hundred years ago that changed our understanding of the Bible: chapters. Yes sir, the 13th century was a wild and crazy time. The Magna Carta was being pushed. The Chinese were using gunpowder in warfare. And it was also during this age that somebody by the name of Archbishop Stephen Langton thought it was appropriate to start dividing the Bible up in little pieces.

That's fine, I guess. I mean, I'm all for a little organization, but there's a little bit of a problem with chopping up the Bible into bite-size bits. Mainly, the issue is that sometimes we lose a little bit of context. We see a chapter heading and think, "Well, all right, that part about ____ is over, and this new part about ____ is beginning."

Well, for whatever reason, as I was reading Matthew 26, I realized that I almost missed something based solely on the fact that I was just going by section titles. Verses 6-13 are the classic tale of Jesus getting his head anointed with alabaster by a woman while He and His disciples were chillin' out. I have an ESV Bible, and in it, this section is called, "Jesus Anointed at Bethany."

Immediately following this section is another classic piece titled, "Judas to Betray Jesus," in which the most famous traitor in history gets paid 30 pieces of silver to commit Jesus to death.

My idea isn't a complicated one, and maybe I'm reading into this a lot, but I think that these accounts of two different people were placed right next to each other to make light of a stark contrast: she did and he didn't.

"Did what?" you say? She did recognize, even if only in part, Who Jesus was. When the disciples start seeing what the woman is doing with her expensive perfume, they all clamor and start to judge her for a supposedly inappropriate use of her wealth. However, Jesus lays down the proverbial law and defends this woman, claiming that, "you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me."

She gave her best, most expensive gift out of a humble heart because she was beginning to really get who this Man at the table really was.

Immediately after this, we find that the exact opposite happens: Judas sells The Christ out for 30 pieces of silver - the payment that one would give in retribution for a slave that was killed. He sold out the Man he had spent 3 years through thick and thin with for something that wouldn't even cover a house payment! Once again: she did and he didn't.

And neither do we.

Because if we did, we'd understand exactly what it means to sin. We'd understand that each of our screw-ups aren't just mistakes, but slaps in the face to our Maker. We'd understand the weight of sin and what it does to the heart of the One who carried all of it to the Cross. We'd understand how much it hurts our God that we choosingly submit ourselves to slavery, when He was murdered to purchase our freedom.

We'd understand. But we don't.

At least, I know I don't.


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