Friday, April 12, 2019
Full reading – John 18:1-27
When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.
2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)
As humans, we sometimes try to manipulate the outcome of situations that we do not expect will bode well for us. Though Jesus had recently been praying that “this cup might pass” (but He would remain true to the will of his Father), Jesus did not make any attempts to manipulate the circumstances. Not only did he willingly identify himself as the person this armed group was seeking, but (when the crowd fell back/down in verse 6), Jesus (again) brings the situation back to focus on what He knew to be the will of God by asking again who they were seeking and affirming that they had found him. As verses 7 through 27 continue the story, Jesus ensured that none of his disciples should suffer his fate yet continued to affirm that he was willingly taking the course that God requested (11…the cup that my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?)
By comparison, very little has been asked of many of us….perhaps momentary social discomfort by taking a stand for the teachings of Jesus that is contrary to the popular opinion; not many of us in Geauga County face imprisonment or physical harm. Secure in the knowledge that Jesus willingly sacrificed His life for us, may we do what God asks of us without hesitation.
Our Heavenly Father, we ask that you give us the strength and conviction to do Your will, knowing that there is nothing that can forcibly separate us from You. This is solely because Your Son was obedient even unto death. His obedience removed the power of death and asks only that we accept Your Grace.