We are coming up on the final chapters of our study in the Gospel of John, chapter 18:1-40. This Sunday we’ll be reading about Jesus’ arrest and his trial before the Jewish leaders and his first interview with Pilate.
It is a description of a long and grueling night – a night of crisis. Trouble has a way of bringing things out in us – both negative and positive. In this account of a troubled night, we see what a crisis reveals in the hearts of the characters involved. I always think its a good idea to try the various characters on for size, just to see what we can learn about ourselves in the narrative.
On Sunday we’ll be looking at Judas, Peter, the Sanhedrin…and Jesus. We read about betrayal, violence, denial, hypocrisy…but also faithfulness, God’s kingdom and power disguised.
As you try on the characters…what parts of their story can you relate to? What attitudes or actions feel a bit familiar, as you compare them to your own journey in Christ? If we’ve ever found ourselves standing on the wrong side of things (v5), or impulsively trying to fix matters by our own strength (v10, 17), or wanting to get our own way so badly that you violate the very morals we claim as our own (v19-24) – these characters have something to say to us. Now, if we feel convicted by any of this, we don’t want to despair…God is always a God of new beginnings. What are some ways in which we can learn from these examples and begin to develop new habits that conform more closely to God’s intentions?
It will be a dramatic journey this Sunday – hope to see you there!