December 12, 2022 – Luke 22:39-53 – Trust

Today we will be reading from Luke 22:39-53:

39 He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done.” [[43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44 In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.]] 45 When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.

47 While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?” 49 When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” 50 Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as though I were a rebel? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour and the power of darkness!”

Today’s reading made me think of one of my favorite quotes from Tim Keller, “The basic premise of religion– that if you live a good life, things will go well for you– is wrong. Jesus was the most morally upright person who ever lived, yet He had a life filled with the experience of poverty, rejection, injustice, and even torture.” 

We see today two of the great sufferings that Jesus endured. First, we see Him in the garden. Ever been mad at God because He didn’t answer your prayer in the way that you wanted?  Look at what happens to Jesus today.  He prays for God to remove the suffering that He was soon to endure.  But how did He end the prayer?  Not His will but God’s will.  

Sometimes the answer to our prayer is no.  Sometimes, as we’ve talked about during Advent, the answer to our prayer is wait.  Today, we see that Jesus, in His humanity, did not want to endure what was to come. But He submitted Himself to the will of His Father.  He trusted in His Father. 

He trusted.  

That’s a lesson for us today as well. To trust, even when we are unsure or when we may have doubts. To trust. 

And likewise, we see another suffering of Jesus today; we see the betrayal at the hand of His friend, Judas.  We see His followers do what we may have wanted to do, strike back in anger.  We see Jesus respond, instead of with anger, but with healing.  

I think His response to Judas is tied to His prayer in the Garden.  I would have responded to betrayal with anger, with vengeance, with spite, with all manner of pain. But Jesus didn’t.  Why?  Well, first, He’s Jesus, so there’s that. 

But second, He trusted in the will and in the plan of His Father.  He trusted.  It allowed Him to show grace, to bring healing, and even to suffer because He trusted. 

Today, no matter what you are facing or going through, trust in the love, in the plan, in the mercy of your Father.  Trust.  When we are firmly rooted in that trust, in that faith, we are more to respond to all things, all things, in grace.  

Today, trust. 

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