Happy Monday! Have you ever been in your home, either walking or sitting comfortably and then out of the blue one of your sibling, child or friend jumped out from a hiding place and they scared you? Were you ready or prepared for it? Probably not if they scared you. While we cannot be prepared for everything, we certainly can pray and ask God for discernment. Join me as we continue our reading in Matthew 26.
BIBLE VERSE – Matthew 26:47-51
47And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” 49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.
50 Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.”
Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 51 But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.”
The heartbreaking betrayal of Judas was proclaimed prior to today’s verses, however it does not make it easier to read. It’s hard to imagine that if anyone of us were betrayed like Jesus would call that betrayer friend, but in verse 50, Jesus called Judas friend – wow…to love like Jesus. In verse 51 (also John 18:10), Peter (the one who is predicted to deny Jesus three times, the one who fell asleep when Jesus asked him to pray), in an effort to protect Jesus, pulled out his sword and cut off one of the men’s ears. Can you imagine the intense moment? It was dark, tensions were high, emotions were on edge, Peter had just awaken from his sleep and confusion was present.
Sisters and brothers, there will be times when we simply don’t understand what is going on around us, but Jesus does. Jesus knew how difficult days would be for us and he reminded us throughout the chapters in Matthew to pray. Jesus’ example of prayer shows us that even though he knew what was ahead, that he needed the strength of God the Father. Just hours before this event, he was earnestly in prayer and had asked for three others (the disciples) to pray with him. Jesus’ statement was, “41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”
- Do you think Peter was impulsive or ready?
- What situation (chaos, tension, or emotion) do you need to pray about?
- What type of healing do you need to take place in your heart (e.g., anger, bitterness, resentment)?
- Are you ready to keep watch and pray?
Father God, in the name of Jesus Christ we come to you in prayer. Father, thank you for sending your son Jesus Christ to save us. Father, forgive us for the times we have turned away from your love and compassion for us. Lord, change our hearts and minds to be more attuned to what you are doing in the world. Lord, help us to stand firm in your word when chaos and confusion is all around us. Lord, help us to be bold and humble as we share your love and mercy with others who are lost, struggling in this world and need encouragement. Lord, refresh and renew us daily in your word. Lord, hold us and keep us in your will. Lord, help us to feel your presence in our lives today. Remind us to keep watch and pray. In Jesus name, amen.
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