The Gospel of Matthew

God's perfect timing

This devotional is written by Thomas Dixon. Filmmaker, husband to Sian, Dad to Theo & Jacob, long time St Mary-ian, and disillusioned Arsenal fan.

Matthew 26:1-5

The plot against Jesus

26 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 'As you know, the Passover is two days away - and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.'

3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 5 'But not during the festival,' they said, 'or there may be a riot among the people.'

Reflection

When I first looked at this passage, I thought there wasn't much to it. It felt like a note between two chapters. What caught my attention though, was how it references time. It's particularly prominent when reading other translations - The Message wording is "At that very moment...' reinforcing the immediacy of it all. It struck me how Jesus is all knowing and all powerful in that moment. He was telling his disciples how events will unfold on Passover even before the leaders plotting against him had formulated their plan. Just as Jesus was entirely aware of that situation, he knows the situations we're going through right now. What an incredible source available to us. It feels like an encouragement for us to tap into him and access that wisdom and foresight.

In the passage it says the leaders wanted to arrest and kill Jesus but briefly delayed their plans to avoid causing "a riot among the people". This short delay allowed Jesus (the lamb of God) to gather his disciples for what would become known as The Last Supper. It's there that he prepares them for the imminent events which will culminate in his death. All of this takes place on the very day that Jews use to celebrate being spared from death after painting lambs' blood on their doorways. It's one of many incredibly symbolic examples in the Bible of God's powerful timing. So in a time when we can't meet in person let's remind ourselves to still make time in our homes to sit and pray with God. What's happening in your life that needs God's perspective? Are you under enormous pressures, or still waiting for that elusive opportunity/breakthrough? Either way, involve him in the situation and get a glimpse of how this is all in God's perfect timing.


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