Wednesday, December 10, 2014

John 18:1-18

40 Days of John

Day 33: John 18:1-18

Jesus gets arrested in today's reading.  Peter denies being one of Jesus' disciples.  The tension has been building.  Jesus has been preparing us for all of this.  And in today's reading in the book of John, Judas, having the inside scoop as one of Jesus' 12 disciples, brings an entourage of soldiers and officials to the garden of Gethsemane to capture Jesus.  

This is the part of Jesus' story I don't like to read.  It's injustice at it's best.   

But here it is.  Real. Raw. Mess.  And it's part of God's story.

An innocent man, God in the flesh, with all of His divine power, suffers at the hands of sinners.

"When Jesus said, 'I am he,' they drew back and fell to the ground..."
Jesus commanded Peter, 'Put your sword away!  Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?'

What do you think God wants us to see and know from this hard-to-read scene?

Notice, even the soldiers and officials with all their evil intent are affected by Jesus and His word as they fall when He speaks.

Notice, Peter, a man with the inside scoop who has spent all the time he could learning from Jesus, denies the faith he knows in the heat of the moment.  He illustrates just how vulnerable we are as we claim to follow Jesus.  

Notice, that none of this seems "right;" and yet, Jesus trusts God plan above all else.  He takes what He is given.  He has just prayed to God about it, and now He is accepting it.

This is the way it is, what it is.  The in-between part of God's glorious plan.  We aren't to the worst of it, and we haven't yet seen the fullness of God's glory.  But, we do get a sense of God's power in the moment... as Jesus faces His circumstances.  We see a peace that is so unexplainable, so unexpected, so unnatural that we know God is working in Him.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for Jesus who, being fully human, shows us what it looks like to follow Your will.  

As believers, we find hope in Jesus.  We know that knowing You, and living in Your plan for our lives is both messy and glorious.  And often times, we find ourselves somewhere in-between.  

Give us patience and peace to let Your plan unfold at Your will and not ours.  Fill us with courage, Lord, to risk and to step out of our comfort zones.  Help us to find You in the moment, to claim You as Lord of our lives, and to trust Your direction for us.

I pray for all those today who are lost, who are scared, who don't know what they are doing in the world or why they are doing it.  I pray for Your Kingdom to come and Your will to be done, Lord.

In Jesus' holy name I pray,

Grace and peace,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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