April 18, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by William Kang, Gracepoint Berkeley

John 18:1-5

  • What does the fact that Judas “knew the place” where Jesus was praying reveal about his experiences and relationship with Jesus? To know one’s favorite place of prayer is to know a person fairly intimately.  Judas knew where Jesus would be.   This suggests that Judas was close to Jesus.  It’s not surprising, after all, since Judas followed Jesus everywhere He went for three years. 
  • In light of this, what can we say regarding his betrayal? Judas’s betrayal must have been very personal and deeply painful for Jesus. Judas wasn’t some real estate agent that betrayed Jesus but a close, personal friend and student.

    John 18:1-8

    • Reflect on the fact that Jesus went out to meet the approaching soldiers “knowing all that was going to happen to him.”  What is my reaction when I need to move toward danger, discomfort or pain in the process of obeying God’s will? Unlike Jesus I shy away from discomfort or pain.  Whenever I am confronted with discomfort or pain, my natural, and often initial, tendency is to wait so that the discomfort or pain will go away on its own because I don’t want to act.  Sometimes I am so sinister as to allow others do the dirty work instead of me.  And when I do this, to myself, I need to give myself a good reason or an excuse.  Yesterday, I loaded  a large table into a van to transport it from North Loop to BT.  It was not that challenging to do, but it required some labor and some creativity in putting a large table into a mini-van.  Perhaps because we’ve all had several long days (GLIVE and construction of the passion experience) that accentuated my recollection of how “difficult” loading the table was that caused me to tell my wife that we should just leave it in the van instead of moving it to another one (logistically it was better to transport the table in another van).  At that moment,  I didn’t want to re-do what was already done.  My initial response was, “the table was hard to load so let’s just leave it in the van.”  But the truth was I just wanted to obey the messages being sent from my fatigued body.  Acknowledging the truth, I decided to unload the table and re-load it to a different van.  I have a long resume of moments when I gave into danger, discomfort or pain.  As a follower of Jesus I must say no to these voices and say yes to Jesus.
    • What must Jesus have been like given the fact that those who came to arrest him “drew back and fell to the ground” when he announced who he was? Jesus must have been a man of authority.  Jesus was the most attractive person on the planet.  At the same time, when he revealed himself, his presence was authoritative and holy.  At that moment it was not possible for sinful man to draw near the Son of God.  Jesus said, “I am he.”  Though it is just words in a sentence it is the person who says it that makes all the difference.  When sinful man utters these words they have no weight.  But when the Son of God says them the only responses are reverence and worship, or reverence and fear.

    John 18:11

    • What “sword” do I wield to avoid the way of the cross, and what would it mean for me to put it away? The sword I wield is, “I’m feel so busy.”  By feeling busy I feel that there is no margin in my time for people and for unplanned requests for my time and attention.  In my heart I say, “don’t you know that I have a lot on my plate.”  I don’t say that out loud, or course, because I know that most of the time it’s a wimpy excuse.  So I say it through body language or hint at it through the tone of my voice.  Or I try to find some other excuse that is more noble to get me out of what is requested of me.

     

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