What’s something you value? Something you make time for in your life? Perhaps it’s your daily coffee that you wouldn’t miss for the world. Perhaps it’s your kids’ birthdays, or sporting events, that you wouldn’t miss for the world. Your anniversary. Today’s passage highlights a group of people who missed something extremely significant.
Do you remember in the story of Jesus’ death, how much Judas was paid by the Pharisees to betray Jesus? Thirty shekles of silver (Matthew 26:15). Zechariah was a prophet. Prophets often did things the Lord led them to in order to send a message to the people. It’d be like an announcer after a basketball game where the little guy won saying, “see, with God all things are possible,” or something like that.
With Zechariah, the Lord led him to shepherd a flock of sheep, that was doomed to slaughter (Zechariah 11). At the end of it all, he asked for his wages. He was given thirty shekles of silver. Then, he took the money and threw it to the potter in the Lord’s temple (Zechariah 11:13). There’s so much in this verse!
“Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord” (Zechariah 11:13).
First of all, the amount, is the same as Jesus’ betrayer, Judas, received.
Second, Zechariah took the money and threw it in the temple. Judas did that too! “And [Judas] threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary…” (Matthew 27:5a)
Third, look at the Potter. Zechariah threw his thirty pieces of silver to the potter (Zechariah 11:13). With the thirty pieces received by the Pharisees from Judas, they bought the Potter’s field. The Potter still received the money in both accounts!
These bits of details about a potter’s field seem insignificant. But they’re completely purposeful. I’m sure Zechariah felt ridiculous following the Lord, not knowing the future significance of his actions. We haven’t even touched on the meaning of the flock doomed to slaughter!
So, who cares? What’s the point? I mean, it’s a neat connection, but why? Think for a moment. Who would have had a first hand seat of these events around the time of Jesus’ death? The Pharisees who doomed him to die. The Pharisees who should have known the Scriptures inside and out. The Pharisees who should have seen the similarities between their situation and the book of Zechariah. The Pharisees, who received the thirty pieces of silver, in the temple, and then bought the Potter’s field.
Shouldn’t they have been asking themselves, “why is this so familiar? Didn’t this happen before? Is God trying to get our attention? Was there more to that prophet Zechariah?” Yesss!
They didn’t see it. They didn’t recognize the connection. Or, as far as we’re told. But isn’t it interesting that God went to such lengths to tell them, even them! Even the very ones who betrayed Him! God gave them every chance imaginable to see Him as the Christ. He spoke their language. He spoke through the Old Testament prophets. He spoke through Jesus.
I can’t help but think personally what God is speaking to me today that I’m missing. Am I paying attention? Am I giving Him time or space to speak? Are you? Beyond that, do we think there’s a group of people God doesn’t care to save? Jesus didn’t spend much time trying to save the Pharisees. But He didn’t give up on them either. Nicodemus believed. Jesus gave him time (John 3). Are we open to God saving someone through us who happens to be in a group of people hateful toward Christ or us? Wow, that’s a hard question. Let’s pray today for wisdom to be His light where He calls. Amen!