Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday, December 2- by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Revelation 2, Hosea 1-2
Today's scripture focus is Luke 22:47-53

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

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 andofficers 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.”

Judas. Betrayer. Every time I read this passage, and actually think about Judas, I can't help but think about this man who walked so close the Jesus. He heard the stories, he saw the miracles, he spent enormous amounts of time with Jesus and yet still betrayed him. It reminds me of Romans 3:23 "For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." All. Not some. All. It doesn't matter if you walked with fall short. It doesn't matter if are a dedicated youth might be tempted and fall short. It doesn't matter if you are a Christian singer and have sold many worship may turn away from God and fall short. There is no one who is immune to sin and it's captive-ness over our lives. Greed. Lust. Self-reliance....and many more harmful things can lead us astray. Judas falls victim to these things.

MacArthur describes Judas:

But the notable leader of the multitude, the one preceding them is the one called Judas who is identified as one of the of the Twelve. The writers of Scripture are very restrained in how they write about Judas. Of all the things that could be said about him, that seems about the most benign. But they are very restrained. As ugly as he is, as repulsive as he is, they restrain from virulent epithets to describe him. There are just not a lot of ugly adjectives piled in front of his name, or descriptive phrases that would somehow vent the animosity that should justifiably be rendered against him. He always is referred to as “one of the one of the Twelve.” It was only Jesus who said of him that he is a devil. He is one of the Twelve. But saying he’s one of the Twelve says all you need to say. Everything else is self-evident. One of the Twelve, which means he was with Jesus for the three years that all the rest were there. He was with Him day and night for that period of time, heard everything He said, saw everything He did. He had the same privilege, the same honor, the same inestimable opportunity to walk with the living incarnate Son of God. To say he’s one of the Twelve is all you need to say. He was not an outsider, he was an insider. But there’s a certain sadness in that definition of Judas as one of the Twelve. There’s a restraint there because he’s to the godly a tragedy. He is not one upon whom it is necessary to heap all kinds of scorn. There’s no vengeance in the heart of believers. There’s no vengeance in the heart of those who were familiar with Judas, there’s only sadness and remorse and sorrow.
Not only does Judas betray the man he has spent the last few years with, but he does it in the most significant way....and Jesus already knew. MacArthur explains:

A signal is necessary...a signal is necessary. Sure there’s a full moon, but they’re in an olive grove. It’s dark. It’s dense. He’s surrounded by eleven men. There has to be a signal that identifies Jesus, you can’t get it wrong. Judas is concerned that there might be an effort for someone to step up and claim to be Jesus in the dark who is not Jesus while they hustle Jesus away to protect Him from the arrest. You can’t get the wrong one. Judas wants his money. I don’t want there to be any mistake. I don’t want to point because you might not know who I am pointing to. I don’t want to just touch somebody because you might not see that.
So what I’m going to do is kiss Him. By the way, this indicates that Jesus had no special physical features to set Him apart, no halo. There was to be no risk. Judas wanted the right one arrested and taken because only then would he get paid. And it’s an unbelievable act of betrayal that Judas chooses. He is a very adept hypocrite...very adept. He is so good at undercover operation that he has been a part of a group of twelve people with Jesus for nearly three years day and night and has not been discovered as a fraud. In fact, he’s been chosen to take care of the money because he was so trusted. He can play the hypocritical game to the hilt, day and night, voluntary responses and involuntary responses. Knee-jerk reactions, saying whatever comes out of your mouth, etc., etc. He has never revealed the truth of his heart. In fact, he is so convinced that everybody thinks so highly of him and thinks that he is genuine that they will not think anything of him kissing Jesus.
Plus, the kind of kiss we’re talking about here is an embrace. It will make it crystal-clear who Jesus is because he’s going to hold on to Him until the Romans can get Him tied up. Inferiors kissed the back of the hand. Or if you’re above a slave, you kiss the palm of a hand in the ancient world. Slaves kissed the foot. Kissing the hem of the garment expresses great reverence. But a kiss on the face, a kiss on the cheek, a full embrace is a sign of close, intimacy and warm affection between equals. It is the mark, not of gratitude, it is the mark not of homage, it is the mark of selfless love and affection. And so the kiss is the most ugly act of treachery and that’s what Judas says I will do. Proverbs 27:6 says, “The kisses of an enemy are deceitful...deceitful.”
So Judas comes to betray the Son of God with a kiss. He approached Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” How did He know that? How did Jesus know that? Because Jesus knew everything. He hadn’t kissed Him yet. He knew his heart, He knew his plans, He knew every detail.
Jesus already knew. He knows the past, He knows the future, He knows the present. He already knows. Recently, a friend read the words of this song and I think it illustrates this so well in the lyrics that say:

When I'm lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You're already there
You're already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You're already there
You're already there

Jesus knows. He knew what was about to happen. He knew what had to happen to fulfil God's rescue plan. He knew His role, the disciples role, and even Judas' role to make that happen.

MacArthur  concludes with this prayer:

Father, we thank you again for the vision that that event that’s given to us on the pages of holy Scripture, stunning and riveting reality to be there. So much more could be said. Help us again to see the triumphant Savior who always triumphs over trouble wherever the trouble comes from, even in these hours when it’s trouble upon trouble upon trouble, whether it comes from the disciples, or the Romans, or the Jews, or the devil, He is majestic. He stands towers triumphantly over it all and goes unhesitatingly to the cross to be the Father’s sacrificial lamb to pay for the sins of those who will and have believed. May we stand with the disciples not indifferent like the Romans, not resentful like the Jews, not false and hypocritical like Judas, but may we stand with those disciples, sure weak and struggling, but loving and being restored as they were all restored and served faithfully until they gave their own lives as martyrs for the Savior. May we be among the faithful, we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

As we prepare for Christmas, may it be clear in our mind that we needed a Saviour. A rescuer that would save us from our own sinful nature. He's already there and waiting for us.

Tomorrow's scripture focusLuke 22:54-62
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Revelation 3, Hosea 3-4

1 comment:

Tammy said...

I think it's frightening - and a good wake up call - to realize that Judas was the betrayer and no one suspected a thing. He was never a true believer, he was in it for the wrong reasons - what Jesus could do for Him, not for Jesus Himself.

How many fellow church-goers are like Judas? Oh, maybe not in such dramatic extent. And yet, is it not the same thing? To reject Jesus in any way is to betray Him. To pretend to be His friend, to presume upon the benefits such a false friendship provides.

Only God sees the heart.