April 8, 2020

Wednesday of Holy Week: Spy Wednesday?

April 8, 2020


Matthew 26:14-16 – Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
Romans 12:20-21 – No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Want to get back at someone who hurt you?

While most scholars agree that the Bible does not record anything happening on the Wednesday of Holy Week, there is another tradition which claims that Mary anointed Jesus’s head and feet in the house of Simon the Leper on Wednesday. Then after she anointed Jesus, Judas went to the religious leaders planning to betray Jesus. Because he began looking for that betrayal opportunity, this tradition calls this day, “Spy Wednesday.” 

The use of “spy” in this case means seeking a way to “ambush, ambuscade, and snare.”

There have been times that I laid awake, planning revenge on people who stabbed me in the back. I made so many mental retaliatory plans that I usually did not get much sleep.

Eventually, I began living Paul’s encouragement to overcome evil with good. I plotted acts of kindness for those who hurt me. Then, I administered those acts of kindness. The result: I am amazed that most of the recipients could not handle it. They didn’t know what to do. Some became good friends, while others became more cautious.

During the tornado recovery and these C-19 weeks, I seek ways to reach those who’ve hurt me. I reached out via phone calls, Facebook messages, and email messages. 

What might happen if everyone “spied-out” ways to love enemies and enact gifts of healthy revenge (acts of love)? In my case, some received “heaping burning coals upon their heads,” not knowing how to handle the kindness. Reconciliation occurred with others. One excellent benefit: I began sleeping better at night.


  • Who are your enemies, difficult people, or troublemakers in your life?
  • How might you serve them as if they were Jesus?
  • Is there a way you might serve people with whom you have no fondness?


  • Discuss the people with whom your family members have difficulty.
  • Discuss ways in which your family members might be loving and kind to them.
  • Discuss how we might treat “those people” as if they were Jesus.


Most loving, gracious Lord, it is hard to love our enemies. While we pray for them, please help us also overcome our tensions with them through loving acts of kindness. While it is not possible in every case, please help us turn our enemies into friends. This C-19 is a virus, Lord, yet please help me totally trust you through these weeks, and help me do my part in eradicating it. In your gracious name, I pray.  Amen.