Archive for March 1st, 2007

Staying True to the Mission

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Today’s scripture: John 12:1-11 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

Doesn’t it sound nice? Jesus’ dear friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus invite him to their house for dinner. Finally, a pause in the action so Jesus can relax! Then what happens? The chief priests want to kill Lazarus because he was causing them to lose followers to Jesus.

What bitter irony! Jesus had raised His beloved friend from the dead out of pure love, and yet the religious leaders’ response was to add Lazarus to their “hit list.” They were already after Jesus’ life; now they’re after his close friend! Could this have caused Jesus to waste time by starting a “Get the Chief Priests!” campaign, which would have totally sidetracked Him from His real mission of redeeming mankind? Definitely! But did He abandon His mission for reasons of revenge? No!

Then we have Judas the treasurer, giving his phony objection to Mary’s anointing of Jesus with the costly perfume. Of course, the real reason he was sorry was that he couldn’t steal some of the money for himself. He was already well on his way to his betrayal of Jesus.

With not only enemies from without, but also from within His core group of followers, couldn’t Jesus have simply given up, saying, something like “Father, this assignment you’ve given me is just too much! If you need to have another Son who can redeem humankind instead of me, then go right ahead; I just CANNOT do this!” But, He didn’t quit. He fulfilled His mission to the very end.

What gave Him the power to persevere and not become consumed with bitterness and revenge? I think it was His practice of pouring Himself out to God with His whole heart, and then listening for God’s reply. Mark 1:35 tells of Jesus going off by Himself early in the morning to pray, and Matthew 26:39-44 shows Jesus pouring His heart out to God when the pressure must have been almost more than He could endure.

Can we use the power of Jesus to protect us from cruelty and betrayal? Yes, He has been through it, and He is there to help us!

Thought for the day: Lord, thank you for staying true to your purpose. Help us to stay true to ours when we face mean-spiritedness, disappointment, or betrayal.

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: Minister of Worship Julie Benson.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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