The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Becky Charles.

Luke 22:33-46

33 But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."

34 Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."

35 Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?"

"Nothing," they answered.

36 He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."

38 The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords."

"That's enough!" he replied.

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." 41 He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

Reflection

Jesus knows the death he will suffer and that it is close. He says "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." He knows what he is being asked to do and is committed to doing whatever God asks, but is so extremely distressed his blood vessels rupture and he sweats blood. Jesus knows severe physical, mental and emotional stress. He knows what it is to desperately want God to change the situation we are in and for God not to do so. He knows what it is to be terrified of what God is asking us to do.

Jesus was raised from the dead and today is seated at the right hand of God, having achieved access for us to God's presence, friendship and eternal life. He is 'the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy' (Col. 3:18).

In a sometimes painful world where there is much we cannot know, it is difficult for us to remember that God is good and has therefore only ever done us good and will only ever do us good. Anything that God asks us to do will be boundlessly better for us in the long run, even if it is hard now. Like Jesus being strengthened by the angel, we also have access to spiritual help through prayer.

God has made an abundant physical world for us to enjoy now, and is with us in it. God is also making a new world which is so much better we can't comprehend it, and eventually we can be there forever.

Prayer: 'Lord help us to trust that you are good and are working for our good even when we are, like Jesus was, surrounded by difficulties'.

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