Prayer Focus: South Africa

Bible Reading: Matthew 26:1-5, 14-35; Mark 14:1-2, 10-31; Luke 22:1-38; John 13

Scripture:

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.  (John 13:1)

Observation:

There’s an awful lot going on here. Pharisees are plotting in secret how they might kill Jesus. Judas is negotiating in secret how he might betray Jesus. The disciples are securing in secret a location for the Passover feast. Meantime, nothing is secret to Jesus – he’s aware of all subtexts, all whle preparing to go to the cross. No secret that, its what he’s been preparing them for, warning them of, and there will be a betrayal. To quote a movie line, “There will be blood tonight!”

Application:

Good lessons here. 1. God is always in control and nothing is a surprise to him. 2. We often miss the obvious and get caught up in our own expectations and daily living. 3. While Peter gets a bad rap, all the disciples were saying the same thing, not I Lord, but they all did. 4. Judas gets a bad rap for his actions, but how often do we betray Jesus today? Do we like Peter and the other disciples run or look the other way instead of speaking up or reaching out? 

God knows the heart – He knows what Judas is plotting and releases him to go and do it. He knows what Peter was thinking and warns Peter not only that he would deny him, but Jesus also gives him instructions for when he turns back – Peter, strengthen your brothers. He knows our hearts too. May we, like Jesus, pray that our faith will not fail, and when we do, that we will turn again toward God, and encourage and strengthen one another.

Prayer:

Father, strengthen our feeble arms and weak knees. Make our paths straight. Shine brightly Lord and be a lamp for our feet and a light to the nations. Your “Secret Ambition” was to give Your life away. Can we do any less? Help us, gird us with the belt of Your Truth, cover us with Your righteousness and fit us for the gospel of peace. Increase our faith. For Your Glory, Amen.

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