Sunday, December 5, 2021
Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest's slave, slashing off his ear.
"Put away your sword," Jesus told him. "Those who use the sword will die by the sword. Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?"
Jesus makes it clear to Judas, to his enemies, and to his disciples that he is not a victim. What will unfold does not happen because of Jesus' powerlessness. Instead, what happens is because of Jesus' submission to the Father's will. His prayer in Gethsemane had asked for other options. The arrival of Judas, with his treacherous and cowardly kiss, is Jesus' answer from the Father. This situation will play out as the prophets had said and will be accomplished as the Father had planned. Jesus could call a myriad of angels to defeat his human foes, but the ones he loves and came to save would be left without a sacrifice for their sins.
Jesus commands Judas to do what he has to do. Jesus commands Peter to put his sword away (John 18:10-11) ; there is no need to fight. As always, Matthew reminds us through Jesus' obedience that what happens is what the Scriptures had foretold.
No, Jesus is no victim. Even in his betrayal and death he is in control, submitting only to the will of the Father for us!
O loving Father, who watched as your Son was betrayed and killed, thank you for your love and concern for me. Thank you, Jesus, for taking your obedience to the Father all the way to the cross and suffering when you could have prevented your suffering. Give me courage as I wrestle with my own will and my own temptation to run from the Father's will to protect what I want for myself. God, as much as I am and I can, I give you my heart and my will to be used for your glory. In the name of the Lord Jesus, who conquered death and brought life and immortality to light, I pray. Amen.
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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