How bold are you when you see trouble coming in your future? Are you willing to stand your ground and face it head-on? Or, like so many, do you simply ignore it and hope that it goes away?
As we look at the life of Christ in the Gospel of Luke, we’re talking about His time with the disciples at the Last Supper. The Lord has already shared the bread and the cup with them. Now He gives them a shocking announcement.
“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.
Luke 22:21-23 NIV
Luke shows us the disciples’ reaction to the revelation that one of their own would betray Christ. The word, betray, in this verse means to surrender over. Somebody was going to turn the Lord in to the authorities.
The effect was that they were distressed by this knowledge. It hurt them. In one sense, most of them felt that they would never do such a thing. On the other hand, Jesus had never been wrong in any of His predictions. The reality of the situation was overwhelming.
The men with Jesus must have felt a great grief come over them. But in spite of this emotional upheaval, it’s not the disciples that I want to concentrate on. It’s the attitude of Christ that we need to examine.
Mark’s Gospel gives us a little more detail of how Jesus explained it to His disciples.
“It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
Mark 14:20-21 NIV
The Lord reveals that it is indeed one of His twelve closest friends who will do this deed. It would be someone who is in fellowship, eating at the same table. In that culture, sharing a meal was one of the most intimate things that friends did.
Jesus makes it clear that this would not turn out well for the betrayer. There will come a time when he wishes he had never been born. His guilt will eventually destroy his life.
But it’s the statement Christ makes about Himself that really gets my attention. He said that He would go just as it was written about Him.
That word, go, in the Greek, means to lead oneself. He was stating that He was more than willing to walk the road that was laid out for Him in the Scripture.
Jesus knew what was ahead. The cross was not taking Him by surprise. He saw it and was progressing toward it with boldness and conviction. That had always been the goal of Christ’s ministry on earth, and nothing would prevent Him from accomplishing it.
We need to walk in that same conviction when it comes to following the will of God for our lives. Too often we let the problems, challenges, and distraction of life sidetrack us from the straight and narrow path.
We must realize that the spiritual struggle can only be won with the Lord’s strength operating through us. Time spent in His presence will assure us the victory. So, we won’t need to fret over the challenges we see coming down the road toward us. Stand strong in the Lord!
Question: How has time in the Lord’s presence helped you to overcome the obstacles of life?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi