What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus struggled sorrowfully with what was to come (verse 38).
- Jesus knew so much what was to come, and willingly fulfilled it anyway, as in his own crucifixion (verse 2) and Judas’ betrayal (verse 25). He did it all “for the forgiveness of sins” (verse 28). What an astounding gift. What an astounding savior.
- (P.S. I wonder what Jesus sounded like when he sang? Verse 30)
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- It happens in homes, over meals, at night in gardens, and in moments of testing.
- It comes with moments of triumph and moments that end in bitter weeping.
It was a long chapter! So here are a few more than normal, extended thoughts and observations from an email dialogue between our elders:
(Pastor Mark) See the contrasts! There is the contrast between the cowardice of religious leaders (plotting to arrest Jesus in a “sly way” to kill him but not wanting to make crowds angry) and the courage of Jesus who faces his death (Gethsemane), his betrayer, his arrestors, his judges… and never wavers. If the Pharisees thought Jesus needed killing on principle, then why were they afraid? Everything was about power and expediency, and nothing was principled for them. It was ALL principle for Jesus. There is the contrast between the woman who is extravagant in giving her money away to honor Jesus… and Judas who sells Jesus off for the price of a slave.
These two contrasts worth considering in our lives. Which are we more like? Pragmatic or principled? Generous or greedy?
(Pam Reed) Jesus knew the motives and the hearts of his enemies, the woman with perfume, Judas and even Peter. He knew His time was at hand and that His sheep would scatter and deny Him. How do I scatter from Him? How do I betray Him? How do I not “watch with Him for one hour”? How seriously do I acknowledge His atonement (taking my sin upon Himself) and what that cost? I stand amazed and humbled!
(Larry Bourland) Regarding Matthew 26: 73-75: I was struck in my musings with the impact of this moment in Peter’s life. Jesus chose a rooster crowing to indicate to Peter he had failed in his prideful statement, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” Can you imagine in the agricultural economy that was pervasive in this part of the world how many times Peter heard a rooster crowing, probably daily! And with each time a devastating reminder of his failing. Peter was a very proud and impulsive fellow who Jesus chose for his inner circle and to be a leader in the Jerusalem church. This constant reminder no doubt kept Peter in the frame of mind and heart that was expressed in his 1st epistle, “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:5-7).
Can you see Peter with paper and pen writing this with a rooster crowing outside his window? How often does our pride get in the way? What reminder can we use in our life experience to keep us humble before God and those around us?
(James Spitzer) So much to chew on here. I am amazed how calm and collected Jesus is at this moment in his life. Being in the season I am in as a Scout leader, my takeaways relate to a few basic, but foundational Scouting values that in my opinion came from our God and repeated throughout the Bible:
1. Be Prepared – The Boy Scout Motto and a common theme lately we have seen as recent as yesterday in Matthew 25 with the women who had extra oil.
2. Be Loyal – 2nd point of the Scout Law. Certainly Judas nor Peter were not loyal to Jesus with greed and fear overtaking their love and belief in Jesus.
3. Be Obedient – (7th point) As Darrel stated, we need to be praying consistently, asking for God’s will, not ours. And we need to heed the call of being a true friend, brother and or sister to our friends, especially those that don’t know Jesus. And we need to let God shine in us and out of us – that’s what we are called to do.
I say “we” up above however putting “I or me” would suffice, as I need to remind myself of this each and every day.
(Rosemary Lukens) I agree. In our most difficult times who do we show [ourselves to be] and what do we show? Those who walk in darkness see more darkness (Judas). The stories they tell themselves are: “I’m not worth anything, I have no value, I am not loveable, I am used, I can’t do this any more, I’m not sure life is worth living…”
Those who walk with Jesus can tell a different story (Peter): “I totally blew it AND I know His loves me and forgives me. I am loveable because God loves me and Jesus died for me. I have worth and value in Christ.”
Jesus was stressed facing the formidable future of a separation from God via the cross and Hades. He asked to be relieved AND He followed God’s plan through the stress and the agony. Choose this day whom you will serve.