Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 113

                        Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 113: What Loving Your Enemies Looks Like

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 26:47-56

Jesus Arrested

47 "While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
50 Jesus replied, Do what you came for, friend.” (Matthew 26: 47-50)
The Book of Luke gives the same account with a little more detail. In the Book of Luke, chapter 22:47-48 reads: "47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”  
In both accounts Jesus' words to Judas get me at the heart, I wonder what they did to Judas. "Do what you came for friend." (Matthew 26:50) Jesus called Judas His friend because for three years that is exactly what they were. It was only until Judas received money for betraying Jesus that their relationship drastically changed. Did Judas hear those words? Did it wake him from his stupor? In the book of Luke, Jesus asked Judas, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48) Again, it feels like a wake-up call for Judas. 'Judas, do you realize a) that you are betraying the Son of Man- Me- Jesus? Do you realize it is me? The one that you have journeyed with for three years, lived with, eaten meals with, seen is I, Jesus. and b) Do you realize that you are betraying me with a kiss? A kiss, Judas! really! A kiss that shows friendship, love, and brotherhood. A kiss of betrayal? Couldn't you have just shaken my hand? or pointed at me? Did you have to kiss me to betray me? Me the One that has loved you?' 
Well, if Judas wasn't convicted, I am. I am reminded of James 3:9-12:  "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." I praise Jesus on Sunday, but during the week I when I am stressful I yell, get angry and say things that I regret. I am full of faith on Sunday, but during the week I get anxious and fearful. It's like a betrayal of sorts. How can I love Him and get so filled with faith and joy on Sunday and than during the week abandon Him when something terrible happens? Am I any better than Judas?
In the book of John the account reads: "Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Again he asked them, Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
Jesus answered, I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go. This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
"...they drew back and fell on the ground." (John 18:6) When Jesus said, "I am he." I believe He was saying, "I Am." which is the name God gave to Moses for Himself. I love that they drew back and fell to the ground. That had to confuse them. His words made them all fall to the ground- He didn't touch them. If I had been in that crowd I would have taken off running. 
"Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
52 Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” (Matthew 26:50b-54)
In Luke 22:51, it further reads: "51 But Jesus answered, No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him." Jesus picked up the man's bloody ear, and healed him right in front of Judas the betrayer, and the crowd of people sent from the chief priests that were holding clubs and swords. Jesus created a miracle....a miracle of love. This is the man they were arresting. A man who spoke, "I am he" and they fell to the ground and a man who healed one of His own captives. Surely, someone in that crowd had to have had second thoughts on arresting Jesus. 
55 "In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”Then all the disciples deserted him and fled." (Matthew 26:55-56) 
Jesus didn't fight or resist or use words to change their minds, He accepted the falsely accused arrest because it was what His Father wanted. 
Pray with me:
Jesus, thank you for loving Judas. Thank you for not yelling at him or turning your back on him for what he did. Thank you for being the perfect role model of loving our enemies. Help me, Jesus, to love my enemies and forgive them for what they have done to me. Heal my deep wounds. Jesus, thank you for showing me what it looks like to be at peace with the Father's will. Help me to surrender my will to your will for my life. Forgive me for holding on and resisting your will. Make me like you. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

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