Monday, May 13, 2013

Luke 22:39-53

v. 39-46 "Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and His disciples followed Him.  On reaching the place, he said to them, 'Pray that you will not fall into temptation.'  He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 'Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.'  An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him.  And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground."  Jesus went back to the disciples He found them sleeping, exhausted from sorrow.  Jesus said, "Why are you sleeping?  Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

Jesus had a habit of going off to a quiet spot to pray.  We should do the same, even if it's five minutes in the car.  Jesus told the men to pray that they would not fall into temptation.  We are to be on our guard at all times.  When we are stressed, tired and weak that is when the enemy will strike since we are easy prey during those times.  Jesus talked to God and asked if God would remove what was going to happen to Him.  Was He trying to get out of His mission?  No, it is good to express our feelings to God.  God wants us to bring everything to Him, even if we are upset.  Jesus also said that God's will was over His will.  I think this is the model for our times of desperation.  We can ask that God will take it away, but ultimately we should seek His will above our discomfort.  An angel was sent to strengthen Jesus.  I believe that when we pray it is allowing the angels to do their work and that we have angels with us as we go about our day.  Jesus got a second wind and He started to pray with more depth to the point of His sweat being like drops of blood.  He was not giving a prayer to God so He could get it off His checklist.  This was a man determined and focused completely on prayer.  When Jesus went back the disciples had fallen asleep instead of praying.  Don't be found asleep when He comes.

v. 47-53 A crowd of people came to where they were.  Judas was with this crowd and he approached Jesus to give Him a kiss.  Jesus said, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"  When the disciples saw what was happening they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?"  One of the men stuck a servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.  Jesus said, "No more of this!  And He touched the man's ear and healed him."  Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?  Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on Me.  But this is your hour-when darkness reigns."

Judas had found his moment to betray Jesus.  In the darkness of night he led the priests to where Jesus was.  Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, a sign of greeting in many parts of the world.  This was a hollow gesture because of what was behind it.  Are any of our religious practices empty gestures?  Sure we think, I would never do what Judas did.  When our acts of service or giving are insincere and are just meant for show then we are no better than this man.  Peter cut off the man's ear, he thought that he must defend Jesus.  God does not need to be defended.  The truth is, and that means that there is no reason to argue it.  Jesus was being betrayed and He wanted no harm to come to any of the betrayers.  Even in difficult situations we are to be kind, it does not matter how others treat us.  Jesus healed this man's ear who probably wanted Him dead.  Jesus was daily in the temple and they never bothered Him, yet here in the darkness the enemy came to Him with weapons.  Mobs are a scary thing, they incite people to do things that they would not normally do.  Even when it looks like the enemy has the upper hand, trust in God.  There is a plan that we probably will never know on this side of heaven.

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