Thursday, April 25, 2013

April 25

Luke 22:35-53          J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

Jesus tells his disciples that the crisis has arrived
35 Then he continued to tell all, “That time when I sent you out without any purse or wallet or shoes—did you find you needed anything?” “No, not a thing,” they replied.
36-37 “But now,” Jesus continued, “if you have a purse or wallet, take it with you, and if you have no sword, sell your coat and buy one! For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me—‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’. So comes the end of what they wrote about me.”
38 Then the disciples said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And Jesus returned, “That is enough.”
39-40 Then he went out of the city and up on to the Mount of Olives, as he had often done before, with the disciples following him. And when he reached his usual place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not have to face temptation!”
41-42 Then he went off by himself, about a stone’s throw away, and falling on his knees, prayed in these words—“Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me—but it is not my will, but yours, that must be done.”
43-45 And an angel from Heaven appeared, strengthening him. He was in agony and prayed even more intensely so that his sweat was like great drops of blood falling to the ground. Then he got to his feet from his prayer and walking back to his disciples, he found them sleeping through sheer grief.
46 “Why are you sleeping?” he said to them. “You must get up and go on praying that you may not have to face temptation.”
The mob arrives and Judas betrays
47 While he was still speaking a crowd of people arrived, led by the man called Judas, one of the twelve. He stepped up to Jesus to kiss him.
48 “Judas, would you betray the son of Man with a kiss?” said Jesus to him.
49 And the disciples, seeing what was going to happen, cried, “Lord, shall we use our swords?”
50-51 And one of them did slash at the High Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus retorted, “That will do!”
52-53 And he touched his ear and healed him. Then he spoke to the chief priests, Temple officers and elders who were there to arrest him, “So you have come out with your swords and staves as if I were a bandit. Day after day I was with you in the Temple and you never laid a finger on me—but this is your hour and the power of darkness is yours!”
Step into the story:
There I was, an obedient servant of the Jewish High Priest. I don't want to go out on this murderous night. I wanted to stay in my quarters resting by the fireside after the long day's work.
But being the obedient servant, I must accompany this band of officials out to arrest that rabble rouser....  Jesus of Nazareth.
Who cares what Jesus of Nazareth is up to?
Leave the guy alone, right? I mean, he's surely a nut. But he is an interesting nut.
They say he has actually healed people of diseases they have had their entire lives! Some say he makes food multiply from a little bit to an abundance without so much as a word spoken.... no hocus pocus... nothing.. And the craziest thing of all? that guy Lazarus....a group of guys went out to see him one day and came back saying the guy had been dead... in a tomb for FOUR DAYS... and then this Jesus came along and well.... they say he brought him back to life!
People say the craziest things, don't they? I am....tramping out in the chill of the night with that other lunatic, Judas. What a rat! He has been with this Jesus everywhere he went for a long time, and yet he is willing to turn him over to the officials for some cash.
Here I am just doing my job, and thinking, "Let's get on with it so I can get some shut eye before I have to start work again in the morning."
Suddenly, you see him.
Jesus standing there in the garden. He doesn't look like any big deal. Just an ordinary guy... but he's the one all right. Judas leads the guards right to him.
One of his friends is pretty upset... takes out a sword and before I knew what was happening a searing pain!
My EAR! The fool cut off my ear!
Then , I can't explain what happened.... but this Jesus told the guy to back off.... came over and touched my head.... instantly the pain was gone... no more blood. I put my hand to my ear... and well.... IT WAS HEALED... right there in that garden... It all happened so fast that I wondered if it was real.
But the blood was on my clothes.... how do you explain a thing like that?
By the time I came to my senses again... they had dragged Jesus off to court. They ended up crucifying him.
And me? Well, I don't know what to think. He sure didn't seem like a big threat to national security to me. And those guys that were with him weren't going to take over the government... there was just a handful of them.
I don't understand why the priests were so shook up about this man.
This healer.
I really am starting to believe what people are telling me about him now.
I saw His face when He healed me. He was not a nut.
He looked like he really cared about me... cared that I was in pain.
I wonder............could He really have been the M-E-S-S-I-A-H?

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