Feb. 29, 2012
Luke 22: 21-23
(Jesus said,) “But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
One of the problems of looking at these passages is remembering the context in which a verse or verse was said. So is the situation today.
Jesus has just shared the communion cup with the disciples. In other gospel accounts, the disciples also question who the betrayer is. In Matthew and John’s Gospels, Judas is identified as the betrayer.
Listen to Jesus’ words again. “The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed.” Jesus accepts and realizes that this train is going one direction and it will not be turned around. Maybe the disciples don’t quite understand what lies before him in the next 18 or so hours. But in his own way, Jesus says, “Doesn’t matter whether Judas betrays me or not. What must happen to me must happen.”
Most of us have probably observed a strong-willed child. This is the child who makes up his or her mind and is going to do or say whatever they have decided. No matter what … they know what they are going to do. I remember hearing a story about a strong-willed child, who was determined to do something he knew his mother would not approve. He went to her and said, “You might as well put me in time-out because I know I’m going to be naughty.”
As I observe parents frazzled by their strong-willed child, I try to assure them that someday, they will appreciate for their child’s personality traits. The traits that are driving them nuts right now – conviction of their opinion, not willing to change their course of action, desire to follow-through – will be traits that in the not-so-distant future they will admire. The traits just are so much more admirable when they are 22 and in a career job than when they are 3 or 4 and seemingly naughty and will not listen.
Thank God Jesus was convicted of what he needed to do … and did it. Thank God Jesus wasn’t wishy-washy about his desire to follow his Father’s will for him. Thank God Jesus could look at the bigger picture and see how his short-term challenges would change humanity. In essence, he took our time-out so we don’t have to. Thank God Jesus was strong-willed. I would have wimped out.
Let us pray: Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God; all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood. Amen.