Love's Labor Lost
Lord God, You know when I am tempted and when I succumb. Shape me in Your perfect image, I pray.
Read John 13:18-30
 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’  “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.  Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”  After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”  His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant.  One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.  Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”  Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”  Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.  As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”  But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.  Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor.  As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy did Jesus give his warning prediction to his disciples (19)?
Judas’ betrayal is described as fulfilling Scripture (18); Jesus knew Judas would betray him (21,26). Was Judas a mindless pawn in some divine power-play? Or was he able to freely choose? The Gospels always list Judas’s name last, with the qualifier “betrayed” (Matt. 10:4; Mark 3:19) or “traitor” (Luke 6:16). Yet Jesus never discriminated against Judas; indeed, Judas enjoyed a position of trust (29). The Last Supper shows Jesus loving Judas to the bitter end: Judas, like the rest, ate the bread, drank the cup, and had his feet washed by Jesus. Judas plans to give Jesus up, but Jesus will not give up on Judas. Jesus’ final appeal of love was the bread dipped in the dish (26)–a choice morsel, offered to an honored guest as a special sign of friendship. God never wills that any man should sin; yet neither will God curtail any man’s freedom. Judas freely chooses to align himself with Satan (27). By saying, “What you are about to do, do quickly” (27b), Jesus concedes that love’s labor is lost. “And it was night” (30) is John’s chilling commentary on Judas’s spiritual state.
God gives us the amazing freedom to choose life or death. Pray for God’s wisdom to always “choose life” (Deut. 30:19).
Lord, show me when the enemy is making an offer too good to refuse and provide spiritual ballast to keep me afloat.
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