Today’s Scripture: John 18
As Jesus entered into the Kidron Valley the night he was arrested, he would have passed by the brook of Kidron where the blood of the lambs that had been sacrificed for Passover would be channeled. This must have been a grim reminder of the blood that he would offer as the final sacrifice for all of mankind. He walked up the Mount of Olives and entered into the gate of the Garden of Gethsemane. In that garden, he would contemplate and pray about all that was about to take place, while his disciples did not really have a clue.
Meanwhile, Judas (Jerkface!) was given 30 pieces of silver and a company of soldiers, along with officers of the chief priests and Pharisees, to go and arrest Jesus. This was a show of overwhelming force coming to find an unarmed man with a few of his followers. You might even say it looked like a gang of bullies! What heroic bravery Jesus showed as they approached him.
4 Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked.
5 “Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied.
“I AM he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) 6 As Jesus said “I AM he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! 7 Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?”
And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
8 “I told you that I AM he,” Jesus said. “And since I am the one you want, let these others go.” 9 He did this to fulfill his own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.”
Jesus wasn’t thinking of himself at this time. Quite the opposite! He was thinking of us! He knew what would have to take place to save our souls and reconcile us to God. Isn’t it wonderful news that he was willing to make the sacrifice?
Jesus could have been a jerkface and said, “these people just aren’t worth it!” He had the power to blow down the entire army in front of him with a single breath. He could have moved to a new town, changed his name, and lived a long life. What Jesus COULD have done and what Jesus DID do changed the course of humanity!
Whom would you lay your life down for?
Would you put yourself out there the way Jesus did for someone who had mistreated you?
Can you think of a time when you were able to show kindness to a jerkface? How did that feel?
Make a list of people who have done wrong to you or treated you in a jerkface manner. Pray for them.
Ask God how you can show kindness to someone who is typically a jerkface.
Father, you are so holy and gracious to us. You deserve all of our praise and worship. Thank you for being the perfect example of how to be gracious and forgiving to those who treat us as if we’re less than them. Place in us the desire to show your love to others, especially when they may not deserve it. May your will be done on Earth today and always. Amen.
This post was written by Julie Estep, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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