September 25, 2016

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Luke 22:47-53 (ESV)
47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Jesus was speaking to his disciples when the crowd, led by Judas, approached him. Judas planned to reveal which man was Jesus by greeting him with a kiss. Jesus said, “Really Judas? You are going to betray me by kissing me?” What level of hypocrisy Judas had plunged to! The disciples realized that the crowd was going to take Jesus away, even by force. So they ask Jesus if they should resist or fight back. Before Jesus answered their question, a sword came out. One of the disciples, who happened to be Peter, struck the high priest’s servant, cutting his ear right off. Jesus told the disciples to stop. This was not what he wanted from them. The suffering that Jesus was about to face was not to be shirked or avoided. Jesus would willingly be taken to his execution. No force was necessary. Jesus stopped to heal the ear of the high priest’s servant, further demonstrating that he was totally in control of everything that was happening. None of this caught Jesus by surprise. Jesus then addressed the religious and political leaders who had gathered to arrest him. He asked them why they treated him like a criminal when they had access to him every day as he taught in the temple.

Jesus then said to those who came to take him away, “This is your hour, and the power of darkness.” What did he mean by that? Jesus said this was the hour of evil. Darkness had come upon the world. It was physically dark, being night. And it was spiritually dark, as the powers of hell thought they had overcome God’s Messiah. How ironic! The religious leaders of Israel couldn’t wait to destroy the light God sent them. This was truly the “hour when darkness reigned.” Judas had given himself over to Satan and betrayed the Savior of the world using hypocrisy. The leaders of Israel secretly arrested the Light of the World. And the disciples began to take things into their own hands and not follow the lead of Jesus. Though the religious leaders thought they were doing as they desired, they were actually pawns in the hands of the powers of hell. It is easy for us to forget that we battle not against flesh and blood. Satan often uses humans to wage his war against the people of God. May you stand firm, and like Jesus, be ready to show compassion, even to your enemies.

September 18, 2016

Luke 21:10-19 (ESV) 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But...