Reading: John 18:1-12
The text assigned for this devotion is the whole passion of Jesus in John (18:1-19:42). But on this Maundy Thursday I would like us to consider just John’s account of the arrest in Gethsemane (18:1-12).
At the Last Supper, Jesus comforted the disciples with prayer, actions and instructions including a new command: Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. (John 13:34) Perhaps some will sing the hymn A New Commandment tonight in worship. (With One Voice #664)
In Gethsemane Jesus shows love to His disciples in a startling way. He initiates the contact between himself and those coming to arrest Him. He asked whom they were seeking. When they said, “Jesus of Nazareth,” he replied simply “I am he.” They were shocked that He would voluntarily give himself up.
But then there is a reason given why He did that—so that the disciples would not be endangered in the arrest proceedings. Jesus really did love them to the end.
It troubles me. That Jesus loves me enough to willingly submit to those who would kill Him. And I am to love that much, too? Voluntarily stand up for others when I know that I will be hurt in the process? It troubles me. --Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff.
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