Monday, March 10, 2008

Luke Chapter Twenty-Two, part one

I'm going to slow the readings down considerably this week so we can focus on the events that lead up to Good Friday.

Reading: Luke 22.1-23

Scripture: "Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present." - Luke 22.2-6, NIV

Observations: Judas agrees to betray Jesus. Why? Neither Luke nor the other gospels tell us why. Luke says only that "Satan entered Judas." Was Judas angry at Jesus? Some think he was trying to help Jesus by putting him in a position where he had to exercise his power and bring in God's kingdom. Or, was Judas simply in it for the money and he realized that following Jesus was getting him nowhere? We don't know. Luke doesn't mention Judas' remorseful suicide (Mt. 27). He only mentions that Jesus was aware of the betrayal and was resigned to the plan, for Jesus knew that this Passover meal would be far more meaningful than usual. And from then on people have gathered around the cup and the bread... "in remembrance of [him]."

Apply: I don't understand why Judas did what he did, and I don't think we're supposed to understand. What I do understand is that Jesus didn't stop him, for Jesus willfully went to the cross, and in that awful event he offered himself as a sacrifice for all who, in small ways and sometimes great ways, like Judas, would betray him.

Prayer: How can I ever say "thank you" enough, Jesus, for forgiving me for the ways in which I too have betrayed you? May my deep gratitude be evident in the way I live for you and in the way I treat others, especially when I may feel betrayed.


traci said...

I wonder if any of us can actually come close to "being there" with the political unrest of Jesus time - the unrest between the Roman governemnt and the Jewish people. - And then there was the internal struggle within the nation of Isreal between
- well between Jesus and the religious leaders of that day. Can we put ourselves in Judas shoes? (what a CRAZY sermon THAT would be!!)

Honest? I have stood in judgement of Judas. (Hey - and Adam & Eve, Cain, Joseph's brothers ...the latest judgement I have pronounced is against Samson - not to MENTION Delilah)...I digress

But I stand short sighted - I stand with a big ol' log in my eye - in BOTH of my eyes...I judge these historical occurances and actually deceive myself into believing I would have behaved differently...(unless differently means the potential for worse). (hey - did you see that? I actually put i before e except after that C...)

I hate it that Judas had to betray Jesus...I hate it that their is still blood crying out from the ground today resulting from the first shedding of the innocent blood of Able...I hate it that Joseph had to go thru the pain of betrayal by his own brothers, and the uncertainty of being sold into slavery - then prison, fear, anxiety...I HATE the thoughts of that...
and yet it was somehow God's plan...He sure wasn't surprised by it. He put Samson in place to defeat the Philistines...He put Judas in place to...
Judas could have choosen differently, he willingly gave Jesus over for money...and
gave Himself
over for us.

Father I am not sure there is much more to do than simply worship You - thank you and praise you for the AMAZING GREATNESS of your ETERNAL PLAN and to speak humble thanx that we are not the ones who need to manage Your plan - because we would fail -
And to bow down at the FEET of JESUS and say...
Thank you Jesus - Thank you Jesus - Thank you Jesus...

thank you

Gladys said...

v. 23 "And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing."

I find it surprising that no one suspected any one particular person. How could they not know? Were there not any signs of discontentment that would have alerted at least one of them? How did Judas hide his feelings?
The disciples were in shock, unbelieving, and then the thought hits them and they exclaim, (Matt. 26:22) "And being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, "Surely not I, Lord?" dreading what may be the answer.
They were deeply grieved at the event that was to happen as well as they had no idea of who it was that would do such a thing, even one of them.

Can you imagine being in a situation where someone was about to be exposed of betrayal, and you not having a single clue as to who . . . then thinking that it might be . . YOU . . because you also are sitting there, and not knowing what you did or said? Knowing too, that the act of betrayal against someone that you love was the worst thing you could imagine . . and thinking . . could/would I actually, REALLY do that? And so, the discussion ensued. And probably, but I am guessing here, that since no one wanted to believe it could ever be them, the discussion takes a turn . . but that is for another day.

Father, I can't even begin to imagine being betrayed -- the inside pain of the heart. And yet, Your Son, My Savior, took this kind of heart pain as the very beginnings of the many pains He would suffer . . for me.

And I will reiterate what Traci said as it's perfect, "And to bow down at the FEET of Jesus and say, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, yes, thank you Jesus" from the bottom of my heart.