“Come near to God, and he will come near to you” (Jas. 4:8). Come to God now, with a sincere, humble prayer.
Read LUKE 22:39-62
 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.”  He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.  And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.  When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.  “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”  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,  but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”  When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?”  And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.  But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.  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.”  Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance.  But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.  A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”  But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.  A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied.  About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”  Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.  The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”  And he went outside and wept bitterly. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow would you describe Jesus' prayer here?
If the shelves in my local DVD store are anything to go by, then “action-adventure” is a very popular category. From wartime combat and action-hero trickery to animation amusement, fight scenes are universal! Here we see one with a difference—it features a kiss and a miracle!
After facing the anguish of accepting his Father’s plan (42-45), Jesus returns to his disciples and issues a wake-up call. Then, Judas, one of the 12 original apostles, approaches with a crowd. This is the moment when a kiss, more often associated with affection or peace, becomes the sign of betrayal (47,48). The disciples respond with swords, but Jesus responds with love, bringing healing (51).
Once again, Jesus illustrates that the way of his Father is to exert the force of love rather than retaliating with weapons. Instead of accelerating the violence, Jesus is secure in the knowledge that his destiny lies in his Father’s hands. How did Jesus manage to be so upright and so loving? During his earlier encounter with God, he truly came to understand the meaning of “yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Has anything displaced your love for Christ or stolen your loyalty to him? If so, confess it now and resolve to change.
Gracious Lord, hold me close to You and keep me from ever being disloyal. I want to always be Your faithful follower.
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