Vs 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.
Vs 3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.
VS 31 (Jesus said), “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Vs 33 Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.”
Vs 34 Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
The contrasts are so great in the events leading up to the Lord’s Supper and Christ’s Crucifixion.
Priests and scribes collaborate to kill Jesus.
Jesus and disciples collaborate to eat the Passover meal.
The religious leaders feared the people.
Jesus loved the people.
The apostles were arguing about who was greatest.
Jesus was washing their feet. Taking the role of the least.
These were visible works we could see happen.
But there were also invisible works, supernatural works playing out the whole time that no one could see.
These were actually the more significant actions.
Satan was tormenting.
Jesus was praying.
It’s very easy for me to sit back and ridicule the religious leaders for fearing the people.
And it’s easy for me to scoff at Judas for accepting money to betray Jesus.
Am I so different?
Do I “fear people”? … I probably wouldn’t put it in those terms.
But what if I put in a different way? … What about, “Do I want to be liked by people?”
This can become a slippery slope. Of course I want to be liked by people …
and it causes me to fear their rejection.
This cause me to seek affirmation rather than truth.
This cause me to “go along to get along”.
In other words, my actions, like the priests and scribes, can be dominated by “the fear of the people”.
Do I “accept money to betray Jesus”? … Again, I wouldn’t put it in those terms.
But what if I put it, again, a different way? … What about, “Do you prioritize financial security and freedom?”
This again can become a slippery slope. Of course I want financial security and freedom …
and it can cause me to prioritize it over Jesus!
I can even make it sound good … “responsible” … “prudent” … “protecting my family” … or even “being blessed”!
This can cause me to pursue money rather than pursue Jesus.
In other words, my actions, like Judas, can prioritize money over Jesus.
So, then what is different?
I must always trust the work of Jesus in my life more than the work of Satan in my life!
Satan wants me. Jesus wants me more!
Satan seeks to destroy me. Jesus prays for me.
Satan only goes as far as God allows him.
Satan was allowed to enter judas.
Satan was allowed to tempt Peter.
Satan will tempt me, but Jesus is in me! And greater in He that is in me than in the world!
But I can’t get overconfident in myself!
Peter said he would die or go to prison for Jesus! … And then couldn’t even say he knew Him!
But Jesus prays that Peter’s “faith would not fail”! … And that he would “strengthen his brothers”.
This is where my confidence should be!
Not in being liked by people!
Not in financial security!
But in the work and prayers of Jesus for me!
Thank you, God, for your Word again.
Help me know your prayers
Help me live them
Strengthen me to strengthen others, Holy Spirit
In Jesus name