September 27

Text: Matthew 26:46

"Arise, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!"  (NASB)

Jesus knew what was going to happen!  He had known for a long time!  Though the 12 did not correctly interpret the events concerning Jesus’ death, Jesus was not in the least mistaken!  He knew precisely what would happen—there was no element of surprise for him.

He had choices to make regarding the moment.  (1) He could seek to evade the encounter and postpone the inevitable.  That was not what he decided to do.  That course of action would only increase his opportunities for avenues of temptation—and fail to benefit God.  (2) He could allow the encounter to come to him.  However, if he did that, he could build the image of the unwilling victim who was trapped by a superior, more intelligent power.  Again, his arrestors would receive lots of credit and God would receive none.  That was not his choice.  (3) He could do the unexpected.  He could go meet and face his arrestors (who were composed of both Jewish guards and Roman soldiers).  This was NOT the common behavior of those subject to such serious arrest.  In this way he could reduce the appearance of professional soldiers to an unnecessary extreme, reduce their weaponry to foolish extravagance, and reduce their unnecessary numbers as an expression of their fear—not his.  By doing this, God—not the soldiers—would be honored.  This was his choice.

One true crisis question can be stated in one word: “Now?”  Is “now” the moment I, by my actions, can take the initiative?  Is “now” the moment I can be the example I wish to be?  Is “now” the moment I can declare the importance of surrendering to God?  Is “now” the moment to surrender life?

There definitely are moments when confrontation and surrendering life are meaningless waste instead of faithful commitment.  One of the objectives of mature righteousness is to discern which is which.  One’s motive for one’s action suddenly becomes extremely important.  Commitment is complicated!

Suggestion for reflection: What is the difference between “saving self” and “glorifying God”?  (Read Acts 23:1-10.)

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