160. In Gethsemane- Matt. 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:40-46, John 18:1
-Jesus, in the night, takes His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray earnestly for the cup of the Lord’s wrath on Him to be removed. Nevertheless, the Christ wanted the Father’s will over His own will in this matter and was obedient to the plans of God. He brought Peter, James, and John into the area about a stone’s throw away from where He was praying. They were tired, weary, and sorrowful at this point and could not resist sleeping in their physical bodies even though the Lord said their spirit was willing (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38). This happened three times as Jesus went to pray, came back, went to pray, came back and went to pray and came back a third time. He was deeply grieved and sorrowful to the point of death, the Word tells us, in His final hours before His crucifixion. The stress was enormous as we read about as the perspiration of blood dripped from His body while He knelt in prayer. Luke tells us that an angel came to strengthen Him in these moments. Jesus was in the presence of the Lord, but He was suffering terribly. The realization that His disciples were sleeping probably caused Him even greater rejection sorrow because He knew the supreme significance of this hour and the spiritual warfare that was present. He warned them to pray so that they would not be overcome with temptation. The truth was, Peter would draw a sword and cut off the ear of a servant of the High Priest (Malchus, John 18:10), and the rest of them would scatter in fear. They succumbed to the temptation of the moment, but God eventually restored them and not one of them was lost other than Judas Iscariot (John 17:12; 18:9). *Application* How often does the Lord call on us to do difficult things for His Kingdom and His purposes here on earth? The answer is all the time if we are sensitive enough to hear His voice and obey. It is never easy to completely follow the will and the direction of the Lord, but it will yield the harvest of righteousness and goodness in the end when you do. There is always sacrifice in the offering, but the reward is tremendous as we see in the final victory of Christ Jesus after He had gone through His torture and death but resurrected with power and glory. Obey the Lord in all that He is asking you to do in His Name. Answer the call willingly as Jesus did and put aside your own will. The Lord’s example should inspire our complete devotion (1 Kings 8:61, 2 Chronicles 16:9, Hebrews 12:1-3).
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 26:39
161. Judas’ betrayal by a kiss- Matt. 26:47-49, Mark 14:43-45, Luke 22:47-48, John 18:2-9
-The crowd of people from the chief priests, scribes, and elders of the people came at night with Judas Iscariot, swords, clubs, and torches to possibly do battle with the people of Jesus and bring Him into custody. Several, if not many, of the disciples probably thought at the time that the Kingdom of God would have to be won by force such as is common to man and the natural order of things on this earth. The Lord turns this potentially violent scene into a virtually harmless event with His words and healing action after the cutting off of the ear of Malchus by Peter (Luke 22:51, John 18:8-11). Judas Iscariot betrayed His Lord with a kiss as a sign in the dark night as to who His Rabbi was for all the throng of captors. The Christ asked him the question, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss (Luke 22:48)?” The Lord, as we see in the book of John, was willing to go with them without a fight and readily identified Himself to the shock and awe of those around (John 18:6). The falling to the ground and back may have been proof of some Divine revelation, which is not uncommon in the Scriptures (Ezekiel 1:28; 44:4, Daniel 2:46; 8:18; 10:9, Acts 9:4; 22:7; 26:14, Revelation 1:17; 19:10; 22:8). Jesus was now in the hands of evil men for the purpose of humanity’s salvation. *Application* I doubt many of us have been in a physical situation like this where people are coming to capture or detain us. The presence Christ had in this tense moment, however, should give us confidence in stressful situations we sometimes face in life. I’m sure we can identify with altercations with mean spirited and angry people who intend to disrupt our peace in stressful environments or situations. Let the serenity of Christ overwhelm you in those moments and put on the Spirit-filled fruit of self-control when these temptations arise. Don’t freak out, stay cool under pressure! It will be a testimony to all.
Verse to Memorize- Luke 22:48