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Jesus - A blending of the New Testament - Ch. 19 - the Entry into Jerusalem
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The entry into Jerusalem  -  the barren fig tree cursed  -  the money-changers expelled  -  Jesus talks to a delegation of Greeks  -  the basis of judgement  -  the withered fig tree  -  a debate with the Pharisees  -  the parable of the son rejected  -  the parable of the wedding  -  supper unattended  -  paying taxes to the Caesar  -  a trick question from the Sadducees  -  the first commandment  -  the scribes and the Pharisees are denounced  -  the widow's contribution  -  the destruction of the temple predicted  -  the signs of the second coming  -  the parable of the wise and the foolish bridesmaids  -  serving God by helping others  -  Mary anoints Jesus with perfume  -  Judas is paid to betray Jesus.


It was almost time for the Passover. Many of the country people, who had come on to Jerusalem in advance of the Festival in order to perform the purification rites, inquired as to whether Jesus was in the city. He was the principal topic of conversation.Citizens and pilgrims alike stood about in the temple each day, gossiping about whether he would dare come to the Festival and about the order issued by the council stating that anyone knowing his whereabouts must report it so that he could be arrested.

Six days before the Passover he arrived in Bethany, the town in which he had brought Lazarus back from death. That evening he attended a dinner party in his honor. The disciples were there and Lazarus himself was at the table. The news that he was in town spread swiftly, and soon a crowd gathered in the street. They came not just in hope of catching a glimpse of Jesus but also on the chance that they might see Lazarus. (The chief priests had marked Lazarus for death because his resurrection had led many people to put their faith in Jesus.)

It was Sunday. As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem they paused at Bethphage and Bethany on the slop of Mount of Olives. He called two of the apostles aside.

"I have an errand for you," he said. "Go to the village.As Soon as you enter the town you'll see a donkey with an unbroken colt beside it. Bring them to me. If anybody asks you what you're doing simply tell them that the Teacher needs them and you'll have no trouble."

They went into town and saw the donkey and the colt standing in the street, tethered to a door. As they were loosing the halter, the owner came by.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"The Teacher needs them," they said.

There was no argument. They led the animals to Jesus, spread their cloaks over the colt's back and Jesus mounted.

All of this was predicted by the prophet Isaiah:

Tell this to our daughter, Zion:
"Have no fear, your king approaches,
Meek, and mounted on an ass;
upon a colt, the foal of an ass."

At the time, the apostles didn't understand that their actions were contributing to the fulfillment of prophecy. It was only after Jesus was glorified that it all became clear.

Jerusalem was overflowing with pilgrims, and as Jesus began the ride into the city, the roadway was lined with crowds. Those who had seen Lazarus resurrected had repeated the story far and wide, and this had heightened the already enormous curiosity about Jesus. Knowing he was coming, some of the people had gone into the fields and cut palm branches,which they strewed in his path. Others spread their cloaks on the road. The air was filled with shouts.

"Save us, oh blessed one of God!"

"Hoorah for the King who comes in God's name!"

"Pray deliver us, King of Israel."

"Blessed be the coming kingdom. . . Blessed be King David's kingdom!"

"Peace and glory in the highest heaven!"

Some Pharisees in the crowd called out to him as he passed, "Teacher, tell your followers to stop."

"Tell them to stop?" he said. "Believe me, if they were to be quiet the very stones would shout."

As they approached the gate, he ran his eyes over the city and they were filled with tears.

"Oh Jerusalem!" he said. "If only you had known. If only you had realized on what your peace depends. If only you had seized your God-given opportunity. But now it is hidden from you. Yet the day approaches when an enemy will surround you and tear down your walls, destroy your citizens, and leave no stone on another."

The Pharisees saw what was happening and turned to each other.

"Look at the people." they said. "Everybody's going over to him. We're getting nowhere."

As Jesus rode into the city it was throbbing with excitement. When those who hadn't heard about him inquired, they were quickly told, "He's the prophet from Nazareth. Jesus the Galilean!"

When he arrived at the temple, the blind and the lame came to him and he healed them. Even the children had picked up the cries of their parents and were shouting, "Deliver us, son of David!"

The Pharisees were furious. "Don't you hear them?" they hissed.

"Of course I hear them," Jesus said. "And haven't you heard the words of the scripture, From the lips of infants, God has provided perfect praise. "

He left the city and spent the night in Bethany.

As he and the disciples headed for Jerusalem the following morning, he was hungry. Off to the side of the road he saw a fig tree and went to it hoping to pick some fruit. He searched among the leaves but it wasn't the season. As he turned away the disciples heard him say to the tree, "Let no one ever eat your fruit again."

When he arrived at the temple, there were the money-changers and the pigeon-merchants doing business as usual. He drove them out, overturning their tables and upsetting their stands and forbidding anyone to so much as carry a water jug through the enclosure.

"Hasn't it been written," he said. My house shall be known as a place where all may pray? You people have turned it into a haven for thieves!"

A report of what he had done reached the chief priests and the scribes. They discussed possible means by which they might get rid of him. They were hesitant to take any overt action because it was obvious that the people were entranced by the things he did and were hanging on his every word.

A group of Greek Jews - in the city for the Passover came to Philip and asked him to arrange an appointment for them to see Jesus. Philip discussed it with Andrew, and the two of them went to Jesus with the request.

As he met with them he said, "The time has come for me to be glorified. As you know, a grain of wheat produces more wheat only if it is buried and 'dies'. That's why I say that to love your life is to lose it while to despise it is to keep it forever. If you want to serve me, follow me, and the Father will honor you and you'll be with me wherever I go.

"Now that the time has come," he said, "my spirit grows troubled by what lies ahead. But what should I do? Now that everything I came to do is at hand should I say, 'Father, rescue me?' No! I say instead, 'Father, honor yourself.'"

There was the sound of a voice from heaven: "I have in the past, I shall in the future."

"What was that?" someone asked.

"Thunder, maybe?"

"No, an angel spoke to him."

"It was a voice, " Jesus said, "but not so much for my benefit as for yours. This is the judgment time for the world, the time when the unseen ruler of the world is going to be expelled. And when I, the son of man, am lifted above the earth. I will draw the whole world to me." In saying this, he gave a hint as to the manner in which he would die.

A man called out from the crowd. "Doesn't the Law teach that the Christ will live forever? What do you mean then when you say, 'the son or man is going to be lifted up? And who is this son of man you're talking about?"

"You'll have the light with you for a little while yet," he said. "While you have it, walk in it, because when the darkness comes you'll be stumbling on blindly. While the light is here, believe in it and become yourselves of the nature of light."

He left them and went off by himself.

Jesus had done many miracles before these people but few believed in him. Their rejection had been prefigured in Isaiah's prediction:

Lord who has believed what we told them,
And to whom has the Lord's might been shown?

The reason they couldn't believe was also foreseen by Isaiah centuries earlier:

He has made them blind and callous,
So that seeing they might not perceive
And comprehend in their hearts
And turn to me for healing.

Actually, there were many who did believe in him - even some of the authorities - but they were afraid to admit it publicly for fear they would be excommunicated. They were more concerned to have the approval of their fellows than to have God's approbation.

At one point during the preparation for the Passover, Jesus rose in the temple and addressed the crowd.

"When you believe in me," he said."you are not so much believing in me as in the Father who sent me. To see me it to see him. I am a light. When you believe in me you need no longer live in the dark. Let this be clearly understood: If having heard me you reject my teaching, I won't judge you - I'm not here to condemn the world but to save it - but you will be judged by my teaching. It will be the basis of judgement on the final day. The things I've taught you aren't my thoughts, they're God's. What I say is what he was commanded, and to obey his commandments is to live forever. When you hear me, the voice is mine but the words are God's."

Jesus taught in the temple daily and each evening went out of the city to spend the night on the Mount of Olives. On Tuesday morning he and the apostles set out for the city. They passed the fig tree on which he had looked for fruit the day before. The apostles saw to their surprise that it had withered from the roots.

"Look, Teacher," Peter said. "The tree you cursed has withered. How is that?"

"Faith in God," he said. "The fact is, Simon, that if you have faith and don't doubt, not only will you be able to do that to a fig tree but you'll be able to say to a mountain, 'Move,' and if you believe unwaveringly that it will happen, it will. Anything you ask for, believe that it's yours and it will be."

That day he broke off teaching to take a walk in the temple area. A delegation of chief priests, scribes, and elders approached him.

"We demand to know," they said, "on whose authority you act. Who gave you the right to do these things?"

"First,I'll put a question to you." he said. "Answer my question and I'll answer yours. John's ministry - was it of God or was it merely the actions of a man?"

They drew aside to talk over what their response should be. "If we say John was from God he's going to ask us why then we don't believe what John said about him. But if we say that what John did was not from God, there'll be an unholy row - the people are convinced that John was a genuine prophet. They might even stone us."

They went back to Jesus

"What's your answer?" he said.

"we don't know which it was."

"You won't say? Then neither will I say who gave me my authority."

He told them this story. "Here's a man with two sons. He goes to the first and says, 'Son, I want you to go to work in the vineyard today.' The son refuses but later changes his mind and goes. The father goes to the second son and ask the same thing. The son says, `Yes, sir, I'll go,' but he doesn't. Now, which son did what his father wanted?"

"The first, of course."

"And I'm telling you that whores and scoundrels are going into the kingdom ahead of you. John came to you - a godly man - and you wouldn't accept what he said. But the outcasts did. But even after you saw their response you wouldn't change your mind.

"I give you another parable," he said."A man planted a vineyard. He surrounded it with a hedge, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a watchtower for protection. Then he leased out the operation of the place and settled in another country. When the time came, he sent one of his staff to collect his share of the profits. The tenants beat the man. He sent another man. They stoned him. The next man they killed, and so it went.`What am I to do about this?' the owner said to himself. `I know; I'll send my only and beloved son. They're bound to respect him.' But the tenants said,`Look, here comes the heir to the estate. Let's kill him and his legacy will be ours.' So they murdered him and dumped the corpse off the property.

"Now," Jesus said, "I put the question to you: what will the owner do to such men? I'll tell you - he'll destroyed those miserable wretches and lease the vineyard to others."

"God forbid!" they said.

He fixed them with his gaze."Then what is the meaning of that scripture, The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.That's what the Lord has done, much to our surprise. The truth is that the kingdom of God is going to be taken away from you and given to a people who will yield some return."

They realized that the parable had been directed at them and would have arrested him on the spot had they not been fearful of the people's reaction.

He told another parable."The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who, having planned a wedding-supper for his son, sent out his servants to tell the guests to come. None did. He sent the servants out again. 'Tell them,' he instructed them, 'that everything is ready - the meat is cooked and the table is set.' But the invited guests paid no attention and went about their normal pursuits: one his farming, another his business. Some even beat up his servants, killing some of them. Naturally, the king was enraged and sent his army to kill the murderers and to raze their city. Once more he called in his servants. 'The wedding-supper is ready again,' he said. 'The guests I first invited weren't worth to eat it. Go to the fork of road and invite anyone and everyone who comes by.' The servants did as they had been instructed and brought in everyone they met - good and bad - and soon the house was jammed. In came the king. He looked over the guests and spied a man improperly dressed for the wedding. 'Friend,' he said, 'how do you come to be here dressed like that?' The man made no reply. So the king had him bound hand and foot and thrown out into the night.

"There will be sorrow and anger in that day,"Jesus added,"because many are invited but few are chosen."

During the past few days the Pharisees had holding meetings,considering a variety of schemes by which they might ensnare Jesus through his public teaching. They had sent out spies - men who feigned a holiness of life - in hope of finding some excuse to arrest him and hand him over to the Roman governor. Now they sent a group of their students and some Herodians to try to trap him.

"Teacher," their spokesman said, "we know you're an honest man. We know you teach God's way truthfully and that you're not influenced by what men may say or do. So tell us what you think - should we pay the taxes to the Caesar or should we not?"

He was aware of their malice. "You hypocrites!" he said. "Why do you try to trap me so? Let me see a coin." They gave him one. "Now," he asked, "whose name and whose image is on the coin?"


"Then give to Caesar what is his and give to God what is his."

He had caught them by surprise. There was nothing further to be said and no argument to be made. Deeply impressed, they turned and left.

A group of Sadducees arrived. (Sadducees say that there is no resurrection.)

"Teacher," their spokesman said, "Moses tells us that if a man dies childless, his brother is required to marry the widow and raise a family for him. Now, here are seven brothers. The eldest marries a woman. They have no children. He dies. The second brother marries her. No children. He dies. The third brother the same and so on until all seven brothers have been married to her. Finally she dies. The question is, when the resurrection comes who's she married to?"

"You're all mixed up," Jesus replied, "mostly because you don't understand either the scriptures or the power of the God. In this age people get married, but in the age to come - after the resurrection - those who have been judged worthy to be raised from the dead won't marry. As a matter of fact they won't even die; in that respect they're all equally sons of God and like the angels.

"Now as to whether or not there's a resurrection," he went on. "Don't you remember - in the Moses, in the passage referring to the burning bush - how God spoke to Moses and said, I am the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob? Obviously, then, he's the God of the living and not the dead. More than that, to God, all men are alive. You fellows really are mixed up."

Out in the crowd a scribe had been watching them disputing each other. He called out, "Well said, Teacher!"

As for the Sadducees, they were afraid to pose further questions.

The scribe spoke up again. "Teacher," he said, "what's the most important of all the commandments?"

"The commandment that goes, 'Listen Israel: the Lord our God is the only God. You shall love him with all that you are - with your will, your spirit, your intellect, and your body.' That's the first commandment. The second is akin to it: 'You shall have as much regard for your neighbor as you do for yourself.' No other commandment is more important than these and everything in the Law and the prophets is predicated on them."

"You're so right, Teacher," the man said. "How much better to love God and your neighbor than to offer every kind of sacrifice and burnt-offering on the altar."

Jesus recognized the man's insight. "You're not far from the kingdom," he told him.

There was a break in the questioning so Jesus put a question to some Pharisees who were there.

"Let us have your view on the Messiah," he said. "Who will be descended from?"

"He'll be a descendant of king David."

"Then how do you account for this?" he said. "David himself, speaking under the inspiration of spirit of God, said, The Lord said to my lord, `Sit here at my right until I put your enemies underfoot.' Now, would David call the Messiah `Lord' if the Messiah was his son?"

Again, silence. The crowd watched, entranced, and that was the end of the trick questions.

He turned and spoke to his disciples, knowing that every one could hear.

"Let me warn you about the scribes and the Pharisees," he said."They have Moses' authority invested in then so do what they say. But don't do what they do, because they don't practise what they preach. They heap heavy and trying burdens the people's backs but they won't lift a finger to help. Even the worthwhile things they do are done to advertise themselves. How they love to enlarge the phylacteries.9 How they love the longest possible tassels on the corners of their robes. How they love the front seats in the synagogues and at the festivals. How they relish being recognized in the street and being addressed as 'Rabbi.' But don't you let anyone call you 'Rabbi,' - only one of you is your teacher, the rest of you are peers. Nor should you address anyone here on earth with the term, 'Father.' You have one father, and he's not here, he's in heaven. Nor should you refer to yourself as 'Master.' You have one Master and he's the Christ."

He looked directly at the Pharisees. "Oh the grief that lies ahead for you, you hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. You close heaven's door and will neither go in yourselves nor permit other to. Alas for you! You travel to the ends of the earth to make a convert only to the ends of the make a convert only to turn him into twice the devil you are yourselves. Alas for you, you blind leaders.You say such foolish things as, 'The man who swears by the temple isn't bound by his oath whereas the man who swears by the temple gold is.' You say that if a man swears by the altar it is nothing but that if he swears by the gift on the altar it is binding. Blind fools! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that makes the gold sacred? To swear by the altar means to swear by it and anything on it. To swear by the temple is to swear by it and by the God who dwells in it. To swear by heaven is to swear  by God's throne and by God himself. Oh, the grief in store for you, you hypocritical scribes and Pharisees! You are so meticulous in paying the smallest part of your obligation to the temple and so neglectful of the fundamentals of the Law - those parts that deal with justice and compassion and faith. Nothing is wrong with what you do; it's that you don't do the important things. You blind leaders, so concerned that there's a gnat in your drink and blithely gulping down a camel floating there. Alas for you - you hypocrites - scrubbing away at the surfaces of your cups and plates, and indifferent to the filth - the greed and rapacity - within you. First, get the inside clean, then you may get the outside clean. Alas for you, you hypocritical scribes and Pharisees! You're like whitewashed tombs: attractive on the outside but filled with the bones and the stinking corruption of corpses on the inside. How like them you are; you look like godly men but you're filled with hypocrisy and evil.

"Alas for you! You build monuments to the prophets and lay wreaths on the memorials honoring good men, all the while prating, 'If we'd lived back then, we would not have joined with our ancestors in the murder of these men.' You're right to call them 'your ancestors,' because you are indeed the sons of the men who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, complete your ancestors' actions. You snakes! You brood of snakes! How can you hope to avoid being sent straight to hell? Listen to me: I'm going to send prophets and learned men to you even though I realize that you'll murder some and have others crucified. Some you'll drag into the synagogues and flog, others you'll hound from town to town, And, in so doing, you will be taking to yourselves a share of the guilt for the blood of every good man ever put to death: from the blood of the innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah, Barachiah's son, whom you murdered in the temple between the sanctuary and the altar. Be sure of it: this generation will answer for it all!

"Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem. How many prophets have you murdered? How many of God's messengers have you stoned? And how many times have I wanted to draw your citizens to me as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you would have no part of it. So now you're to be left deserted. You won't see me again until the cry is, 'Here comes the blessed one, the ambassador of the Lord.'"

Jesus sat down in the temple opposite the Treasury and watched the crowd drop their money into the receptacles. Many wealthy people made large contributions. A poverty-stricken widow dropped in two pennies. Jesus spoke to the disciples.

"The truth is," he said, "that poor widow has given more than all the rest. They gave from their surplus; she gave everything, including all she had to live on."

As they were leaving, some of his followers offered to take him on a tour of the temple complex.

One of the disciples said, "Look, Teacher. Look at the marvelous stonework and at the buildings themselves."

"See all these buildings?" he said. "Every one of them is going to be razed: there won't be one stone left on another."

Later, as he sat resting on the slope of the Mount of Olives, Peter, James, John, and and Andrew came to him.

"Teacher," they said, "you said the temple was going to be destroyed. Tell us when. Tell us also how we'll know whey you're about to return to the earth, and when the earth itself will end."

"First," he said, "let me warn you to be on your guard against those who would lead you astray. Any number of imposters are going to appear and claim to be the Messiah, and a great many people are going to be fooled. They'll even claim to be acting on my authority. They'll announce that the end-time has come. Don't pay any attention. You'll hear of wars and of international crises but don't let that concern you unduly. That will happen before the end comes. There will be major wars, brushfire wars, food shortages, and earthquakes in various parts of the world. But they're only what might be termed the first birth-pangs. It will be a time persecution. You're going to be hated everywhere because of your allegiance to me. Some of you will be killed. Many will desert. Some will betray their friends. Brothers will grow to hate each other. Imposters - self-proclaimed prophets - will appear and will draw may away. The moral standards of the society will degenerate, and that will cool the zeal of others. But those who stay true through it all are going to be delivered.

"The end will not come until the good news of the kingdom has been preached as a testimony in every nations of the world. Then, when you see 'the ultimate sacrilege' set up in the Holy of Holies in the temple (let the reader understand what is meant10), and you happen to be here in Judea, head for the mountains. If you happen to be on the rooftop of your home, don't go in after your possessions. If you're out in the field, don't go back home for your clothes. It will be terrible to be pregnant then or to be nursing a baby. And pray that it doesn't happen in winter or on a sabbath when travel is forbidden. It will be a time of trouble without paralled in history and never to be matched in the future. Nobody could possibly survive if the days weren't cut short - but they will be for the sake of the people God has chosen.

"If at that time someone tells you that the Christ is in one place or another, don't believe it. There will be any number of fake messiahs and pseudo-prophets around. They will do all kinds marvelous things.Some of them will be so convincing that, if it were possible, they'd deceive even God's chosen. So, if you hear that I'm out in the desert or that I'm hiding in some room in town, don't believe it. When I come, it will be like the flash of a bolt of lightning across the sky. You know where the carcass is; it's where the vultures are gathered.

"Immediately after the Time of Trouble the sun will grow dim. The moon won't be visible. Stars will fall and the oceans will rage. Entire nations will panic, and men will collapse in fear as the realization of what's about to happen breaks upon them. The very powers of heaven will be shaken. Then, in the sky, they'll see me coming through the clouds in splendor and with all authority. Then, at the sound of a great trumpet-call, the angels will be sent out to gather the chosen from everywhere in earth and heaven."

He used a parable. "When the sap returns to a fig tree and the buds appear, you don't need to be told that summer is coming. In the same way, when you see the things I've been describing, you'll know that I'm about to return, that at the very door. Let me tell you that this generation won't have gone until everything I've spoken of has happened. The earth and the sky may cease to be but my words are eternal.

"If you ask the precise day and the precise hour when all of this will happen, I don't know. Nor do the angels. No one knows but the Father. So, because you don't know when it will happen, stay vigilant and continue to pray. Make sure that you're not hungover from drink or surfeited with self-indulgence or bowed down with worry about making a living, or you'll be trapped when I return with the suddenness of a snare - for that's how quickly it's going to happen. Don't let your guard down. Keep a constant watch and don't stop praying that you may escape what's ahead and that you may someday stand in my presence.

"Here's what it will be like," he said. "Compare it to ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet a bridegroom. Five of the girls were provident and took along extra oil for their lamps. The others didn't bother. It so happened that the bridegroom was delayed so the girls all took a nap. At midnight they were awakened by a shout, 'He's coming! Come and meet him.' The girls got up and checked their lamps. The five who hadn't brought extra oil went to the others and said,'Our lamps are about to go out. Lend us some oil.' The others said, 'But if we do, there may not be enough to go around and all our lamps may go out. Go to the store and buy some.'While they were away the bridegroom arrived. The girls who were prepared went with him to the wedding-supper and the door was shut. When the other girls got back they knocked on the door and called out, 'Sir, sir, let us in.' But he replied, 'Sorry, I don't even know you.'

"Stay prepared," Jesus said. "There is no way of knowing when I'll be back. When I return in my glory and with all the angels, I shall sit on my throne and all the nations of the world will be assembled before me. In much the same fashion as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, I shall set them apart - the sheep to my right, the goats to my left. Then, as king, I shall say to those on my right, `Come, you whom my Father has loved from the beginning of time. Received the kingdom he has prepared for you. It's yours because when I was hungry you fed me. When I thirsty you gave me drink. When I was lonely you welcomed me. When I was penniless you gave me clothes. And you visited me when I was sick and when I was in jail.' They'll respond, 'But when did all this happen? When did we see you hungry or thirsty and give you food and drink? We don't remember you coming to us as a stranger or without clothes, or helping you out when you were sick or in jail. When did we do all this?' And I'll say, `When you did such thing for the least notable of my brothers, you were, in effect, doing it for me.'

"Then I'll turn to those to my left and say, `Leave me, you accurse ones. Go into the undying fire prepared for the devil and his minions. When I was hungry or thirsty you wouldn't help. When I came to you as a stranger you turned me from your door. I was without clothes, I was sick, I was in jail, and you wouldn't lift a hand to help.' They, too, will say, `But when?' and I'll say, `The fact is that when you turned your back on the humblest you were turning it on me.'And they'll go off to a punishment that never ends while the good will enter the life that never ends."

Having instructed them on the future, he brought them back to the present. "You realize, do you not," he said, "that the Passover begins in two day and that I shall be arrested and crucified."

Even as he was speaking the chief priests and the elders were meeting at the home of Caiaphas the high priest, reviewing their plans to arrest him by stealth and to bring about his death. There was consensus that it would be unwise to act during the Passover for fear of stirring a riot.

That evening Jesus went with the apostles to Bethany to attend a supper given for him. Lazarus was there and Martha served. While they were at the table, Mary came in with an alabaster flask containing a very expensive lotion - essence of nard - broke the seal, and poured it on Jesus' head and feet, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with fragrance. Some of the apostles grew indignant, among them, Judas Iscariot.

"What's the meaning of this waste?" he demanded. "That perfume could have been sold for at least sixty dollars and the money given to the poor!" Actually, his protest was not motivated by his concern for the poor, but because he was treasurer of the group and custodian of the money bag - from which he used to steal.

Some of the other apostles joined in censuring Mary.

"Let her be," Jesus said. "why do you keep after her so? What she has done is beautiful. You will always have the poor to care for - and you can help them anytime you want - but you won't always have me. It was as though she was preparing my body in advance of my funeral. Moreover, wherever the good news is told throughout the world, what she's done here today will be recounted and she'll be remembered for it."

Satan entered Judas Iscariot and he left to meet with the chief priests to discuss with them and the temple-guard the arrangements for Jesus' arrest.

"What it worth to you?" he asked.

Containing their excitement, the chief priests counted out thirty silver coins and offered them to him. A bargain was struck and from that night on Judas watched for an appropriate time, a time when Jesus was alone.

(9)   Tiny boxes enclosing scripture texts, bound with leather straps to the forehead or forearm.
(10)  It is not known for cetain what was meant. It is believed by some that the "ultimate sacrilege" was a statue of Caesar.

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