Thursday, October 05, 2006

When Darkness Reigns

Read: Luke 22:39-53

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation."

Luke 22:39-40

This narrative follows the account of the last Passover meal Jesus had with his disciples. During that time together, Jesus revealed that one would betray him. They tried to determine which one that would be then went into a discussion of who was the greatest. I can just imagine these grown men. “Well, I’m not going to betray him. I’m his best friend.” Another pipes in, “You may spend more time with him now but I’m the one that’s going to be his right hand man in running the kingdom.”

Jesus tries to get his message across to his disciples. He even warns one of those closest to him that he will turn away from him. He also encourages him to strengthen the others after he gets through the rough times.

Then he goes to his place of solitude. The disciples follow. Jesus’ heart is heavy. He knows what this night holds. He petitions his friends to pray not for him but for themselves. The Son of God steps away to cry out to his Father. He returns exhausted and saddened to find the disciples asleep. Once again, he tries to get the significance of his message across to his friends.

While he is still speaking…Judas, one of the twelve approached Jesus to kiss him. Now the adrenaline is flowing. The disciples jump into action. Swords come out. But Jesus stops the commotion.

“Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, ‘Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour--when darkness reigns.’”

Luke 22:52-53

It’s been a couple thousand years since the events of this passage took place. All the things happened just as Jesus said they would. Judas betrayed him. Peter denied knowing him. It was a dark time for all the disciples. Eleven of the twelve found strength in reuniting. Judas, alone, committed suicide.

Have you become so accustomed to the darkness around you that you are falling asleep? Pray for strength to resist temptation before it comes?

Maybe you are struggling with a dark circumstance in your life. Petition your friends to pray with you, not for you but for themselves in this circumstance. Their strength to support God’s will for you is vital.

Dear Jesus, you are our Lord and Savior yet you call us friends. May we wake up and heed your message. May we always be prepared to resist the impulse of our flesh. Thank you for pouring out your Spirit so that we have the strength to follow you when darkness reigns.

1 comment:

claire said...

hiya - good good post - i have often thought that "Have you become so accustomed to the darkness around you that you are falling asleep? Pray for strength to resist temptation before it comes?" about that passage in teh bible, in fact i read it only the other night and again prayed that i would be awake and alert and ready for the times and seasons ahead.

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

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