Wednesday, April 11, 2007



Right away after the field trip on prayer, Jesus is encountered in the garden, betrayed by Judas and arrested.

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns."

Well, Judas leads the way, signaling the officials of Jesus’ identity and sealing it with a kiss. NOTE who didn’t make the prayer meeting with Jesus and the other disciples there on the Mount of Olives.

When the disciples saw the impending conflict, they asked Jesus if this was the time to use their swords. And, while they were asking this of Jesus, one of them pulled out his sword and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Can you guess who the impetuous disciple was? If you guessed Peter, you are right. John is the only gospel that identifies him. This is characteristic of Peter’s personality of shooting first and asking questions later.

NOTE Jesus stops the violence and supernaturally puts the ear back on the victim’s head. He healed him right there in front of all to see. I love it that right in the midst of being arrested Jesus pulls off an incredible, almost matter of fact, miracle.

ONE MORE THING: Jesus said to these official leaders, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?” You see, in the same way that the disciples saw Jesus as a political revolutionary these officials viewed Jesus as a powerful, political threat as well.

They were all missing the point. In fact, I believe most miss the point today. Jesus is not a powerful, political revolutionary out to overthrow any community, society or government. He is a revolutionary alright, but that revolution is transformational in nature—turning a person’s heart inside out and turning his world upside down. This revolution has nothing to do with conservative versus liberal or democrat versus republican or Christian versus non-Christian. It has everything to do with supernaturally changing the hearts of men and women—anywhere the message of Jesus and the Kingdom are exposed.

This revolution is experiencing incredible growth world-wide. Nothing can stop it. Once that seed of the good news of the Kingdom has been sown, you never know where it will take root and grow into a fully fruitful plant. The revolution doesn’t need flashing billboards. It doesn’t need a Madison Avenue kind of marketing strategy. In fact, the revolution doesn’t need any massive promotional strategy at all. The revolution that Jesus is talking about spreads one by one and two by two. The revolution doesn’t require any money or fund-raising programs; it’s a free, word of mouth campaign that cannot be stopped. The revolution of Jesus and His Kingdom cannot be easily defined or put into a nice little box for convenience. It’s gloriously out of control in every culture on planet earth. The most exciting thing I can share with you today is: THE REVOLUTION IS STILL ON! Just watch what Jesus is doing around you and join the movement. You’ll never regret it!



According to my records this is lesson 100 in the gospel of Luke. Luke is a great author and has given us more than anyone else about Jesus. I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am. I am learning so much as we go through this.

NOW we come to another intentional act of preparation. This time it’s not physical and financial preparation, but personal and inner preparation before facing the onslaught of things to come. Jesus leads them on a field trip, maybe the most significant trip ever. Let’s see what happened.

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

This field trip is very instructive to us on the practice of prayer. It’s not exhaustive, but very insightful. Let’s list out step by step what Jesus is teaching about prayer:

FIRST—Pray that you will not fall into temptation. Jesus has warned them over and over that life is going to change and it will not necessarily change for the better, but for the worse. Here He urges them to pray in order that they will not fall into the trap of the evil one in the days ahead. This is true for us today, too.

SECOND—“As usual” indicates that this was a common practice—a habit. Do you have a habit of praying—talking and listening to the Lord? If Jesus felt the need to do so, what does that mean about you?

THIRD—Jesus had a “place” where He did His praying. It was a place where He felt most comfortable. Do you have a special place where you like to pray?

FOURTH—Jesus knelt down. There is no formula per se on how to pray, but it is interesting to note what Jesus did. I think there’s something very special and meaningful about kneeling down to pray. Try it some time!

FIFTH—Jesus expressed His deepest desires—His wants. “Father, if you are willing to take this cup from me” indicates that Jesus would rather not go through with this. There is nothing wrong with expressing your deepest desires. Tell God what you really want to happen. Open up your heart to Him fully.

SIXTH—Jesus moves from “wants” to “not my will, but your will be done.” Once you have expressed your deepest desires, moving to submit your will to God’s will is the only way to go. This is the ultimate act of dependence upon the God of gods—for Him to have His way in your life right now.

SEVENTH—Jesus was strengthened by an angel. You may not see an angel in the process, but you will discover a new strength given to you as you practice praying in this way.

NOTE what happens next. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

Can you see yourself in the disciples? I can see you there—and me. Here they are facing the greatest temptation or trial they will ever face, yet that isn’t bothering them nearly as much as their tiredness.

It’s the ever-present battle between the temporal and the eternal. The temporal doesn’t matter that much. The eternal is the most important of all. That age-old verse comes to mind: