Tuesday: Psalm 71 & Matthew 26

From Jessica Patton

Sometimes when reading accounts of Holy Week, I start to feel a bit...smug. I read about the woman anointing Jesus’ head with oil and think how silly the disciples were to be fretting about the cost. Isn’t Jesus worth my all? Or I think about the disciples sleeping while Jesus prayed in agony at the Garden of Gethsemane, and wonder just how hard it could have been to stay awake for an hour when their friend was distressed. Or I read about Peter chopping off the high priest’s servant’s ear and wonder what he was thinking - Jesus and eleven other men against a “great multitude with swords and clubs”? Too bad they didn’t understand what was happening.

Of course, they thought they did. Jesus was their Messiah, their Savior, and He was to deliver them from the Roman oppression and hopefully give them some authority too. But with the upheaval of Jesus’ arrest, their expectations were not met and they abandoned Him. Even Peter, who at least followed Jesus to the high priest’s house, only went “to see the end.” How could he have been so wrong?

And yet…

How often is my perspective on God’s work in my life skewed towards what God can do for me - how He can make me more comfortable, more joyful, more productive, more at ease? And then, when upheaval comes, and my expectations of health or happiness or well-being are unmet, is it any wonder I feel like I’m floundering? Suddenly Peter’s ear-chopping incident doesn’t seem that different from my frantic attempts to “fix,” on my own, whatever problem has blind-sided me.

I pray that my perspective would be more like that of David in Psalm 71, who understood that both his troubles and his salvation (v20) were for God’s glory and was faithful to tell of God’s righteousness to “everyone who is to come” in the midst of his distress.

I am wife to Brian and mother to Ayelet and Oliver. I enjoy reading about history and politics (although I never turn down a good mystery), and love travelling to see firsthand where current and historical events have happened.