December 5th, 2006
In many countries around the world today, people risk persecution if they identify themselves with Jesus. Christians can be locked up, tortured or even killed if they refuse to deny their saviour. In Western countries, we have a lot more freedom, but we can still be tempted to deny Jesus at times. So we have to ask ourselves the question: What is it that makes us afraid to identify ourselves with Jesus? Sometimes we are worried that we might lose friendships. We worry about what other people might think if they know that we are Christians. We don’t want to be excluded or considered “uncool”, so we often follow the crowd to be accepted.
Luke’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 22
22:1 The feast of unleavened bread, called the Passover, was approaching. 22:2 The senior priests and religious lawyers were looking for a way to get rid of him, because they were afraid of the people. 22:3 Satan entered Judas Iscariot who was counted as one of the twelve. 22:4 He went off to talk with the senior priests and officers about how he might deliver Jesus to them. 22:5 They were pleased, and offered to give him money. 22:6 He agreed, and looked for an opportunity to deliver Jesus to them when the crowd was not around.
22:7 The day of unleavened bread came, on which the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed. 22:8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us to eat.” 22:9 They asked, “Where do you want us to prepare?” 22:10 He said, “When you go into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him into the house which he enters. 22:11 Tell the houseowner, ‘The Teacher is asking, “Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?”‘ 22:12 He will show you a large furnished upper room. Make preparations there.”
22:13 They went, found things as he had told them, and prepared the Passover. 22:14 At the appointed time he sat down with the twelve apostles. 22:15 He said to them, “I have been looking forward to eating this Passover with you before I suffer, 22:16 because I will not eat it again until it comes to fulfilment in the Kingdom of God.” 22:17 He took a cup, gave thanks, and said, “Take this, and share it amongst yourselves, 22:18 because I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes.”
22:19 He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you. Do this in memory of me.” 22:20 Similarly, he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
22:21 “But the hand of my betrayer is here with me at the table. 22:22 The Son of Man will indeed go, as it has been determined, but woe to the person through whom he is betrayed!”
22:23 They began to ask amongst themselves which of them would do it. 22:24 They also started arguing about which of them was considered to be greatest. 22:25 He said, “Kings of the nations lord it over them, and people who have authority over them are called ‘benefactors’. 22:26 It is different with you. Someone who is greater amongst you should become like the least important, and someone who is in charge should become like a servant. 22:27 Who is greater, someone who sits at the table, or someone who serves? Isn’t it the person who sits at the table? But I stand before you as a servant. 22:28 You are the ones who have stayed with me throughout my trials. 22:29 I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 22:30 so that you can eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. You will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
22:31 The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, Satan asked to have you, to sift you like wheat, 22:32 but I prayed for you, that your faith would not fail. When you have repented, strengthen your brothers.” 22:33 Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!” 22:34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you deny that you know me three times.”
22:35 He said to them, “When I sent you out without wallet, and bag, and shoes, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 22:36 Then he said to them, “But now, anyone who has a wallet should take it, and a bag. Anyone who has no sword should sell his cloak and buy one. 22:37 This prediction about me will now be fulfilled, ‘He was counted among the criminals.’ The predictions about me are reaching their conclusion.”
22:38 They said, “Lord, here are two swords.” He said, “That is enough.”
22:39 He left the house and went, as usual, to the Mount of Olives. His disciples followed him. 22:40 When he arrived, he said to them, “Pray that you don’t enter into temptation.” 22:41 He went away from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down to pray, 22:42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not what I want, but what you want.” 22:45 He stood up from his prayer, and came to find the disciples sleeping, exhausted by grief, 22:46 He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
22:47 While he was still speaking, a crowd arrived led by Judas, one of the twelve. He approached Jesus to kiss him. 22:48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 22:49 Those who were around him saw what was about to happen, and said to him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 22:50 One of them struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
22:51 But Jesus said, “Do not resist,” and he touched the man’s ear and healed him. 22:52 Jesus said to the senior priests, captains of the temple and elders who had come against him, “Have you come with swords and clubs as if to arrest a robber? 22:53 When I was with you in the temple each day, you didn’t try to arrest me. But this is your time, when the power of darkness rules.”
22:54 They arrested him and led him away, bringing him to the high priest’s house. Peter followed at a distance. 22:55 Some people had started a fire in the middle of the courtyard, and had sat down together. Peter sat with them. 22:56 A servant girl saw him as he sat in the light, and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with him.” 22:57 He denied Jesus, saying, “Woman, I don’t know him.” 22:58 After a little while someone else saw him, and said, “You’re one of them!” But Peter answered, “Man, I am not!”
22:59 After about an hour, another person said quite confidently, “I’m sure this man was with him, because he is a Galilean!” 22:60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 22:61 The Lord turned, and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the Lord’s prediction, how he had said, “Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times.” 22:62 He went out, and wept bitterly.
22:63 The men who were guarding Jesus mocked him and hit him. 22:64 They blindfolded him and slapped him on the face saying, “Prophesy! Who was it that slapped you?” 22:65 They said many other things against him, insulting him.
22:66 As soon as day broke, the assembly of the elders of the people was gathered, including senior priests and religious lawyers, and they led him to their council, saying, 22:67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you won’t believe, 22:68 and if I ask, you will not answer me or let me go. 22:69 From now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”
22:70 They all said, “Are you then the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say it, because I am.” 22:71 They said, “Why do we need any more evidence? We have heard it from his own mouth!”
Entry Filed under: Courage