…and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth, and kill Him. But they were saying, “Not during the festival, lest a riot occur among the people.”
Now when Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it upon His head as He reclined at the table. (Matthew 26:4-7)
The plotting of the chief priests and Pharisees is one story and the woman with the expensive perfume is another story. That’s how I’ve always read it, and that’s how I’ve always heard it taught. And that’s fine and good. There’s a lot to be gleaned and learned from in each story.
But as I read it now, I see a single moment in time. I envision the plotting. I imagine it’s evening, the room dimly lit by oil lamps, the men sitting forward, leaning in toward each other, sneaky tones, sneaky words. It’s clear in my head.
Then I read the next sentences: Now when Jesus was in Bethany….He reclined…. I see Jesus eating, sipping wine, the people smiling, the laughter, the peace. I see it clearly. Perhaps it wasn’t the exact same moment, but it sure was close.
While His enemies were plotting evil, Jesus was reclining, visiting and fellowshipping, at rest. He knew what was coming. He had just told His disciples in verse 2. “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be delivered up for crucifixion.”
Jesus knew the wickedness being planned, yet He reclined. Jesus knew He was about to be betrayed. Yet He reclined. Jesus knew bad was coming, suffering was coming. Yet He reclined.
Can I recline in the midst of darkness? Can I fellowship with my Jesus, knowing persecution is coming? Can I rest in the love of my Father? Can I know that He works all things to my good?
These are things for me to ponder. While they plotted, Jesus reclined.