Day 88: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 88: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

We are looking at the events of Jesus’ last hours before his crucifixion.  He and Judas had a showdown in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Judas organized a huge entourage to arrest Jesus (John 18:3).  However, Jesus controlled the events, not Judas nor Jesus’ enemies.

There were about 700 people, Roman soldiers and guards from the Jewish leadership, and the Pharisees (Jewish lawyers).  Hundreds to capture Jesus?  This was silly, and Jesus called them out: Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? (Lk. 22:52). Jew and Gentile were complicit in the illegal arrest of Jesus.

n irony of the operation was they came with: ‘…lanterns and torches… (Jn. 18:3). The group thought they had to bring light to find — The Light.  Earlier: Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness….” (8:12).

Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” (18:4).  This short verse shows two attributes of Jesus: 1) Supreme Know-ledge: knowing all… 2) Supreme Courage: came forward.  700 to 1, and he managed them.

Before the crowd came Jesus got his three sleeping disciples (Matt 26:45).  The other eight disciples on the outskirts of the garden (26:36) were gathered. In John 18, the eleven were together with him, when Judas arrived, all the disciples together.  Jesus needed all his disciples with him, to win their freedom. He managed their presence and liberation.

“Whom do you seek?” (Jn. 18:4). This was a legal question.  In Roman and Jewish Law, one could not be arrested without charges. Morality is put first. Jesus lets legal authority have precedence.  Jesus wouldn’t let them create extra-legal threats outside the Law.  They were accountable to a higher moral power.  He commanded them – and they obeyed.

They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth…” (18:5).  Note they don’t call him: ‘Lord’ or ‘Christ’…or ‘Savior’… or ‘Light of the World’… Unbelievers don’t know Jesus other than a historic moral teacher, or a man of virtue, and kindness.

Ironically, Jesus who they were seeking was in front of them and they didn’t know it!  Jesus was not flamboyant, just average.  He can be overlooked.  Be careful that you do not ignore him, though he’s in plain sight.

Where’s Judas? He’s coming: While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him… (Lk. 22:47). Let’s see what Judas calls him.  Let’s see if he protects Jesus’ legal rights.

Now the betrayer [Judas} had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. (Mk. 14:44, 45).  No legal rights for the Lord. Does he call Jesus ‘Lord, or ‘Savior’?  Nope.  Rabbi.  Note what people call Jesus, it’s a clue.

Jesus challenges Judas’ behavior: but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Lk. 22:48).  He respectfully called Judas by his name, then points out his betrayal.  Judas wasn’t: ‘…a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Prov. 18:24).

Jesus identified himself with a unique title: Son of Man.  What does that mean?  Is that just a title of humility, that Jesus, God in the flesh took the identity of a man?  Nope.

Jesus was being up front and bold, claiming a Biblical Office — Son of Man.  The term comes from the Old Testament: I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. (Dan. 7:13).  Briefly, the Ancient of Days is the Heavenly Father.  Who is the son of man?

And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (Dan. 7:14).  That’s the Son of Man.

Later in Daniel 7, the ‘Son of Man’ is called the ‘Most High:’ (7:18, 22, 27).  Jesus makes an astonishing claim to Judas and the crowd, that he is the Most-High (Son of Man). They don’t bat an eye. Later Jesus quotes Dan. 7:13 to the High Priest: Jesus said to him…I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. 26:64).  Does Caiaphas have the same response as Judas?

Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” (Matt. 26:65, 66).  They went ballistic!

When Jesus said ‘Son of man’, in front of soldiers and Judas…crickets.  When Jesus proclaimed it in front of religious authorities – Kaboom!  Their heads exploded.  We must be aware that Jesus is who he says he is.  If you get a ho-hum from people, don’t be surprised.  And don’t be alarmed if religious elites hate him with ferocity.  Both reject him.

Jesus was open and up front with people.  It’s a great example for us.  He knew the consequences, and that did not stop him from being bold, to the hateful or the uncaring.  He still proclaimed the truth to his enemies.  He did not discriminate.

The last hours of Jesus’ life were full of life lessons for us.  Jesus exhibited supreme knowledge and supreme courage in the face of cruelty, and betrayal.  He knew rejection, though he is ‘The light of the World.’  Being a follower of Christ is not for the timid.  He said: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. (Jn. 15:18).

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18, 20).  He’s already victorious and will go through any circumstances with you.  You can count on him.  “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5).  His followers left him; he did not leave his followers.

That is good news for you and me.

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Your Son is grand, glorious, and beyond good.  Thank you for making him our savior. It is a privilege to call him Lord.  He sacrificed everything for us, and today he’s still faithful to us.  He loves us with an everlasting love, in-spite-of our shortcomings.  He never leaves us, never forsakes us, though we have frequently turned our back on him.  Yet we are promised: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1).  That is extraordinary!  That is too good to be true — but it is true!

Help us proclaim our allegiance to the Lord, for his unfailing pursuit of us.  Soften our hearts so our pride doesn’t hinder or blind your will for our life.  Rather help us to know when you are communicating eternal truths to our hearts.  Don’t let the tyranny of the urgent have dominion over what is important.  Rather help us to be dialed into your spiritual wavelength, so we clearly know what we are to think, to say, and to be.  Then, as we partner with you, let us be a spotlight to the world, so they get insight into your mind.  Let your character materialize in their minds as a place of comfort, a place of safety, a place of joy and a place of hope.  We pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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