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Alabaster jar lesson 4: Beware of perfidy!

Rev. Enoch Thompson | September 5, 2023 | Matthew 26:14-16


¹⁴Then one of the Twelve — the one called Judas Iscariot — went to the chief priests ¹⁵and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.¹⁶From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Matthew 26:14-16 (NIV)


What is perfidy? It is the state of being deceitful and untrustworthy. We link the text today with the series on the Alabaster Jar Lessons, because we see a link between the anger of the disciples of the Lord with the pouring of the precious perfume with the act of disloyalty by Judas in his betrayal of the King.

John’s narrative of the Gospel indicates that Judas was the treasurer of the Jesus-team, and he was a thief. He wanted more money in the coffers so he could steal more unnoticed. “⁴But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages. " ⁶He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” John 12:4-6 (NIV). If the Lord would not allow him to have access to more money in the coffers, then he would sell the Master Himself and get more money into his pocket!

The material pursuit of Judas, his love for money that had made him a thief from the purse of God was the root of evil that made him a deceiver and an untrustworthy person. His loyalty to Christ was sacrificed on the altar of material pursuit. His privilege of being one of the closest friends of the Lord Jesus, as he claimed to be, proved useless, because he valued money more than that relationship, and betrayed his Master.


Where is your heart, truly? What are your motivations and your attractions for being in the church or being a church leader? Check your motivations before you prove deceptive and untrustworthy. It is very easy to turn around against the Saviour. May God save us from perfidy!


Dear Lord, I shudder again and again at the thought that I could betray you. But how often have I not betrayed you, by placing a higher value on this world, its people, and its attractions. I pray and ask that your grace will abound to me and keep me from the path of betrayal of my privilege as a Kingdom citizen, and of my King who has done so much to bring me into His Kingdom.

For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.


SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! _________________________ DAILY word study: HAND HIM OVER The phrase "hand him over" is translated from the Greek words "παραδοῦναι αὐτὸν" (paradounai auton).

παραδοῦναι" (paradounai): This Greek verb means "to deliver," "to give up," or "to hand over." It signifies the act of transferring someone or something to another's custody or control.

"αὐτὸν" (auton):** This is a pronoun meaning "him." In this context, it refers to Jesus.

The phrase "hand him over" carries significant weight in the narrative of Jesus' arrest and crucifixion. It underscores the theme of betrayal and the unfolding of God's redemptive plan. While Judas's actions were driven by greed and deceit, they ultimately played a part in the fulfilment of God's purposes.

This passage invites us to reflect on the nature of betrayal and the choices we make in our relationships with others and with God. It also points to the sovereignty of God, who can work through even the darkest actions of individuals to accomplish His divine plan of salvation.


How can we guard our hearts against the temptation to betray trust or act deceitfully in our relationships? How does this passage remind us of God's ability to use even betrayal for His redemptive purposes?

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