Thursday, December, 29, 2022
Can you imagine if you lived in Bible times and the son of God handpicked you to be a part of his very exclusive inner circle? How amazing that would have been to be chosen as one of the twelve disciples! Spending time in conversation with him daily, watching him perform many miracles, listening to him teach the people and reveal the coming kingdom, and just being around the most awesome dude ever would have been incredible. Surely, that group of twelve would be so devoted to him that they would never turn against him. Or, maybe they would.
Let’s start with Judas. I’m not making excuses for him, but Luke 22:3 does say that Satan entered into Judas right before he went to the chief priests and officers to devise a plan to betray Jesus so he could be put to death. Although, how in the world could one of the twelve disciples get to the point where Satan would be allowed to have so much influence over him. He didn’t have to go along with the temptation Satan presented to him, but he willingly did turn his back on Jesus. I don’t really understand how he could have justified in his mind such an evil plan, but clearly, he was weak in the faith department and not strong enough to not give in to the temptation.
I think we accept the fact that Judas betrayed Jesus – because he was Judas. Who has anything good to say about Judas? It’s not like he was John, James, or Peter, some of the most impressive disciples. They would never turn their back on Jesus, until Peter did.
Peter showed over and over that he loved Jesus and was totally onboard for the cause. His faith was pretty strong also – strong enough to walk on water for a little bit. So what went wrong? How could he have denied Jesus three times in one night. Furthermore, to make it worse, Jesus even told him right beforehand that he was going to deny him three times. It seems like after the second time he would have thought, “Okay, that was two times, but there’s no way I’m messing up a third time. I’m not falling for that one.” But one of the most devoted of Jesus’ inner circle was not strong enough to not give in to the temptation.
Let’s fast-forward to today. How strong is your faith? Are you onboard with the cause 100% or are you a fair-weather Christian? What can you do to make sure you don’t give into temptation when tough times hit? There is one suggestion from Jesus that he stated in verse 40 and again in verse 46. He told the disciples to pray that they wouldn’t enter into temptation. I find it interesting that he didn’t tell them to pray to not enter into sin; he told them to pray to not enter into temptation. Temptation is not wrong. Jesus was tempted in the same way we are tempted, but he did not give into the temptation and sin. That is deep, at least to me it is.
Time to ponder:
Many of us spend time figuring out how we are not going to enter into sin, but have you ever thought about what you could do (or not do) to not enter into temptation? That seems like a great place to be because you will probably not sin if you are not tempted to sin.
Is there anything else you can do to prepare yourself to be strong enough to not give in when strong temptations arise?
I’m not going to give you a third question because I think it would be wise to use your time to keep thinking about the first two questions. There really is a lot there to think and pray about.