Monday, December 23
It takes guts!
Scripture: John 15-18
John 18:4–5 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said.
There is so much in every chapter of today’s reading, but I was struck by the courage of Jesus as He obeyed God.
When an armed mob of soldiers and religious officials arrives to arrest Him, Jesus didn’t do what would be natural: run and hide. And that would have been easy. It was dark and they were outside the city—escape would have been relatively easy. But escape wasn’t an option.
Instead, Jesus moved toward the trouble! “Knowing all that was going to happen to him…”. Jesus knew that He would endure a mock trial, be beaten terribly, and crucified—and He knew that was why God had sent Him. Knowing that, He went out to meet His adversaries, and asked them who they were looking for, and said, “I am he. Let these others go.” Even here, He was thinking of others.
When Peter jumps to his defense and wounds Malchus with his sword, Jesus says, “Put your sword away. Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given Me?” Jesus doesn’t see Himself as a martyr or victim, but as a sacrifice. No one is taking His life from Him; He is willingly laying it down in obedience to the will of the Father. (John 10:18). He is drinking the cup the Father has given Him; He is obeying the will of the Father.
Later in the chapter, when He is being questioned about His teaching by the priest, Annas, He refuses to defend Himself. Instead, He tells them that He has taught openly, and they can ask those who heard Him. Remarkable! If I was on trial for my life, I would be defending myself, trying to explain what I meant in a way that might save my life. I would not trust my hearers to explain my teaching! But Jesus wasn’t trying to save His life—He was giving His life for us.
The entire story pulses with the courage of Jesus.
Doing God’s will is not always easy or popular. It takes guts! It takes guts to say, “Not my will, but Yours be done,” and mean it. It takes guts to sacrifice for others rather than protect yourself. It takes guts to obey God when you know it’s going to cost you.
That’s what Jesus did. That’s what we’re called to do.
Prayer: Lord, fill me with Your courage so that I will obey You every time, regardless of the cost!