Archive for July, 2019

The Betrayer and the Mob

July 31, 2019 Leave a comment

47 While [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51 Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

This scene reminds me of the mob in Beauty and the Beast.

Judas immediately felt regret. I wonder how the faceless members of the crowd felt after Jesus’ death.

My prediction is that they didn’t give it another thought. It’s much easier to be evil in a crowd, anonymously, than to take personal responsibility.

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Jesus Begs For His Life In Gethsemane

July 29, 2019 Leave a comment

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38 Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” 40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”

Jesus picks three sleepy disciples to accompany him to private prayer.

I wonder what the other disciples were doing during this time.

When Judas shows up, Jesus matter-of-factly announces his arrival.

Jesus is every bit as much caught in the cycle of prophecy fulfillment as Peter and Judas and the others.

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Jesus Demands Peter’s Sinful Denials

July 28, 2019 Leave a comment

31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written,

‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

32 But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” 33 Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.

It is interesting that what was written long ago leads to future actions.

Peter didn’t write that the sheep would be scattered. But he was held to this story in advance and had no trouble fulfilling his destiny.

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Death Wish

July 27, 2019 Leave a comment

30 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Every Passover-observing Jew knows you paint your doorway with blood and stay in until the Angel of Death passes over.

Leaving the room immediately after the Sader is a significant challenge and, according to the Law, places the firstborn male at risk of death.

Jesus embodies the countless dead Egyptian livestock and boys.

I wonder if any of the apostles were also firstborn. Maybe Judas Iscariot?

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Jesus Is The Matzoh(?) and Wine

July 26, 2019 Leave a comment

26 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

I wonder if the loaf of bread in v. 26 was leavened.

Jesus significantly adds himself to the Seder elements. This reminds me of C. S. Lewis’s “Lord, Liar, Lunatic” argument.

No way a good moral teacher could claim to be God and the embodiment of forgiveness.

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Jesus Gently Calls Out His Betrayor

July 24, 2019 Leave a comment

20 When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; 21 and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”

Jesus is not aggressive towards Judas Iscariot. He is matter-of-fact.

This may be a wise way to call out sin in a wide variety of contexts.

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The Last Supper Preparation

July 22, 2019 Leave a comment

17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

It is impossible to fully appreciate the significance of Communion / Eucharist without experiencing a full Passover Seder.

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Judas Betrays Jesus

July 17, 2019 Leave a comment

14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

What prompted Judas to reach out to the chief priests?

What unmet expectations?

What anger?

What guilt?

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Jesus’ Annointing

July 12, 2019 Leave a comment

6 Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8 But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? 9 For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”

According to Jesus, charity is not always the right decision.

Is this claim specific to the context or more generalizable?

I wonder if Jesus is more concerned for the woman than his disciples’ critique.

If a person’s motives and actions are pure, why compare them to an alternative? This is a game that can never be won.

Each person is held accountable to his or her own conscience.

Jesus protects the woman and teaches this truth tactfully.

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Verses 3-5

July 10, 2019 Leave a comment

3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”

Powerful people fear the power of the people.

Timing is key to keeping a hold of power.

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