Matthew 26:1-16 John 12:1-8 The Narrowing Road To The Cross

by | Dec 20, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

Introduction- Verses 1 & 2
Vs. 1- “All these sayings”– Everything that Jesus has just taught them in Chapters 24, & 25.
Vs. 2– Only 2 days until He dies. The nearness of the cross begins to divide people’s heart even more.

1. The approach towards the cross will increasingly cause people to have to choose or reject Him.
2. The cross was the primary reason for Jesus coming to Earth.

a.It becomes a point of division for humanity, for…
b. It declares all mankind guilty of sin and needing a Savior, and…
c. It declares that there is one way for man to be saved: Through faith in Jesus Christ.

3. Therefore, as Jesus approaches the cross, the cost gets higher whether to follow or reject Him.
4. Regarding the cross: Read Matthew 16:24-26; Matthew 10:37-39

I. The Opponents Of Jesus

A. The Chief Priests, Scribes, And Elders Of The People Vs. 3-5

1. What They Stood For

a. Religious leaders that used the religious system to enrich themselves

i. Financially/socially- they made the rules that enriched themselves
ii. Inflated prices of sacrificial animals; living off of the “ministry”

b. Religious Politicians on “politicians” #6 definition: a person who seeks to gain power or advancement within an organization in ways that are generally disapproved.
c. They had deceit, trickery, and murder in their hearts.
d. V. 5– Self-serving, and not wanting to lose the approval of the public.
e. Heaven would veto their desire for delay.
Jesus, the “Passover Lamb” would die during Passover.

2. Their Opinion Of Jesus

a. There was no place for Jesus in their world. He was of no use to them.
b. They had a system for life; Jesus was an interruption and irritant to them
c. Jesus confronted them, revealed their hypocrisy, & warned the masses
d. Whereas Judas could “use” Jesus, they had no use for Him at all

3. Their Response To Jesus

a. They thought it best just to kill Jesus, and carry on with their system
b. They are the human masterminds behind His death, but the tension increases for them as they seek to carry out their sin.
c. They are forced to compromise and enlist the help of the Romans to kill Jesus. They join hands with their enemies in order to eliminate Jesus.

B. Judas Iscariot- The Pragmatist Vs. 14-16

1. What Judas Stood For- “What Can I Get Out Of Jesus?”

a. Ultimately, Judas was a man interested in himself
b. We know that he was a thief, who stole from the group’s common purse
c. He didn’t mind being associated with a religious leader and group
d. He had been empowered with the others to heal and cast out demons
e. Though he had seen first hand the miracles and teachings of Jesus, he was overwhelmingly interested only in himself.
f. As long as something was gained from hanging around Jesus, he would.

2. His Opinion Of Jesus

a. As Jesus increasingly spoke of the cross, the pressure mounted
b. Whatever ultimate agenda Judas had, it wasn’t being accomplished by what Jesus was heading for.
c. We see Judas becoming more and more disapproving of Jesus

3. His Response To Jesus

a. Judas was with Jesus for what he could gain out of the relationship
b. Jesus was a resource that increasingly wasn’t satisfying Judas’ desires.
c. The “waste” of perfume revealed Judas’ motives. Self-enrichment.
d. Judas the main critic of Mary. “Why this waste?” Judas wasted his life.
e. Judas’ final act of betrayal was ultimately designed to fulfill his greed.

II. The Worshipper Of Jesus Vs. 6-13

A. What Mary Stood For-Her Passion

1. The anointing with perfume took place 6 days before the Passover. (Flashback)
2. Mary seen 3x’s in the gospels, always at the feet of Jesus. Jesus was her passion.

a. She sat & listened to His Word. (Luke 10:38-42)
b. She came to His feet in sorrow after the death of Lazarus (John 11:32)
c. She worshipped at his feet when she anointed Him w/the ointment.

3. Her passion for Jesus brought out the best in her and the worst in the disciples.

B. Her Response To Jesus

1. She worships Jesus. We worship that which is precious to us. Lifestyle.
2. V. 7– Worship is costly: people’s opinions, reigning in thoughts/emotions, physically being involved, go against contrary internal/external struggles.
3. Vs. 8, 9- True worship can bring criticism, misunderstanding

a. Martha thought Mary was lazy and doing the “easy” thing
b. The disciples though it a waste.

4. Vs. 10-12 Worship is defended by Jesus

a. Whatever act of worship is done, it is to be done “for Him”.
b. Acts of worship shouldn’t be “for us” too. Don’t plan on a fringe benefit.

5. V. 11- Jesus doesn’t want worship opportunities missed. Don’t just be prudent.
6. V. 13- Her act of worship has had sp. repercussions worldwide for 2k years
7. The disciples enjoyed the fragrance while there. The fragrance stayed w/Mary.

a. Others might be blessed by our acts of worship for a time.
b. Mary was blessed long after the act was done. A lifestyle of worship.
Summary Statement- As you get closer to the cross, do you respond like the leaders, Judas or Mary?