20 January: Genesis 42-44; John 12:1-11; Psalm 20
- God is about to enact a grand reversal of honesty for Israel and his sons. Joseph rises to power in Egypt for something more than food during famine. He rises to bring back integrity to God's chosen people. In 42.10 the brothers protest that they are indeed "honest men" - not yet, but soon. Joseph continues to set them up for a great test of both honesty and unity and self sacrifice.
- Mary's beautiful gesture of pouring out her pure nard on Jesus' feet is of little worth compared to her sacrifice of wiping his feet with her hair. By unfurling her hair, she has — according to custom — given herself over to Jesus, precluded from marriage to another. She, of course, does not marry Jesus, but she has dedicated herself to his service for the rest of her life.
- Judas has a fine-sounding complaint about the excess of Mary's gift to Jesus ("Why wasn't this perfume sold the money given to the poor - it was worth a year's wages?"). It's easy to sound right but be so very wrong in our heart.
- This Psalm has so much in it. At first it seems to be a blessing that David seeks to bestow on others. Then, it rises into a crescendo of jubilant trust in our conquering God. David here gives us an expression of true joy — despite circumstance — in a loving powerful Lord.