Bringing the Word to Life
Find a coin to symbolize the money Judas placed above Jesus. What material possession you are putting before Jesus?
Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
– John 13:21 (NRSV)
Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. “The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer quoting Martin Luther in Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community
Jesus is deeply troubled as he predicts Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial.
- Betray- To give aid or information to an enemy; commit treason against. To deliver into the hands of an enemy in violation of a trust or allegiance. To be false or disloyal to.
- Deny- To declare untrue; contradict. To refuse to recognize or acknowledge; disavow.
- Failure- The state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective.
Peter and Judas both fail Jesus, yet one emerges a saint and the other destroys his life. How were they different? Was it their motivation/objective?
2 Corinthians 7:10 (NRSV)
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret,
but worldly grief produces death.
Compassionate Christ, I see you sorrowful at our failings- troubled in spirit over Judas and Peter, lamenting over Jerusalem, weeping in the garden as your friends slept. We fail at many things and we fail many people, including you. How do we keep from slipping into hopelessness and despair when we come face to face with our actions? How are we not destroyed? Is it the state of our heart? No, we cannot save ourselves. It’s the state of your heart. Help us believe you are ready to forgive. Help us believe no actions or words of ours are beyond your redeeming. Help us to trust in the power of your goodness more than the power of our sin. Glory to you, blessed Jesus. Your arms are open wide to all. Mercy and Grace are written on your palms. In your name we hope and pray. Amen.
For more information on the Gospel of John Reading Plan, click here
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