Silver Coins

Silver Coins

10 May 2009


5 Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself. 6 The leading priests picked up the coins. “We can’t put it in the Temple treasury,” they said, “since it’s against the law to accept money paid for murder.” 7 After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. 8 That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood. (Matthew 27:5-8 NLT)


I marvel at our human ability to do what Jesus described as “straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.” The spiritual leaders of Israel had a lengthy discussion about what to do with the money Judas gave back when he realized he had betrayed Jesus to death. They couldn’t put it in the Temple treasury because it was against the law for the Temple to accept money paid to a prostitute or money paid for murder. It was also against the law to commit murder, but they overlooked the huge fact that they were murdering Jesus and instead wrestled with the issue of what to do with the thirty silver coins.


It’s not only Jewish priests and leaders that can get this wrong. We can get so caught up in religious detail that we forget justice, mercy, and truth. We can get so involved in working with the details of organizing, operating, and funding ministry activity that we forget that ministry is simply how we express love for God, love for people, and service to others.


Father, I ask you to help me give my full attention to the real issues, what Jesus called the “weightier matters of mercy and truth.” and not get caught up in wrestling with petty details and technicalities. I know the details matter, but I ask you to help me not miss truth for technicalities. Amen.

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