While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
Matthew 26: 47 – 49
It is interesting to see how this crowd, sent from the chief priests and elders responded to the threat of Jesus, and his teachings. Here is a man who has been teaching the importance of love, forgiveness, grace, and kindness, and they show up with Judas with swords and clubs. The message of Jesus is one that went against so much of what people had known, because it undoes power structures, and those in power did not like that. Feeling threatened causes these people to respond in ways they know, with brute force, so they come ready to respond to this threat. Jesus promoted peace, and people felt more threatened by that, because it was a foreign concept. The invitation for us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and challenged.
Prayer: Gracious God, you teach love, grace, mercy, and kindness, yet we respond in fear, because we like having power, and yet, you remind us that to follow you, we need to humble ourselves and serve others. Help us to live our lives serving others and loving others. Amen
Action: Do one thing outside of your comfort zone