ONE OF THE TWELVE

Luke and the Lost

They were there, right under our noses. There was a couple in one of Randy’s church “turnaround” ministries that seemed so connected to God. They spoke of His ways and testified to His blessings in their lives. But away from the worship and service of His people, they complained, criticized and generally were the source of hurt for new people who would come to church. It took us a little while to “catch on” to what was happening. When we did we confronted them with why. Why betray the mission of the church by tearing the people around them who cared for them?

There are many reasons this happens:
–An healthy need to be noticed, no matter what the cost.
–Low self-esteem, so this power of gossip seems to offer a false sense of power. Knowledge, even though false, is power.
–The strong need to be in control.
–Disappointment because the work isn’t being accomplished in the way they think it should be.
–Selfishness.

One of the Twelve, goes behind the back of Jesus, to his enemies for many, if not all of the above reasons. Maybe he thinks Jesus should be more aggressive. If Jesus claims to be the coming King, then when is he going to step up and put the Romans in their place? If “I was the leader”…I would…the beginning of betrayal is to think you can do a better job than God. Yikes, that isn’t us at times, is it?

Luke 22, The Message
The Passover Meal
22 1-2 The Feast of Unleavened Bread, also called Passover, drew near. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way to do away with Jesus but, fearful of the people, they were also looking for a way to cover their tracks.

3-6 That’s when Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot. He was one of the Twelve. Leaving the others, he conferred with the high priests and the Temple guards about how he might betray Jesus to them. They couldn’t believe their good luck and agreed to pay him well. He gave them his word and started looking for a way to betray Jesus, but out of sight of the crowd.

7-8 The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered. Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, “Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together.”

9 They said, “Where do you want us to do this?”

10-12 He said, “Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home. Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, ‘Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there.”

13 They left, found everything just as he told them, and prepared the Passover meal.

14-16 When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him, and said, “You’ve no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It’s the last one I’ll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God.”

17-18 Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I’ll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives.”

19 Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory.”

20 He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.

21-22 “Do you realize that the hand of the one who is betraying me is at this moment on this table? It’s true that the Son of Man is going down a path already marked out—no surprises there. But for the one who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man, this is doomsday.”

23 They immediately became suspicious of each other and began quizzing one another, wondering who might be about to do this.

Unlike, Randy and I, God knows all hearts. Jesus knew immediately of His betrayer. He confronted him and told him to finish the task that evil had prompted him to do. Yes, One of the Twelve left the table of the Lord where the Passover took on new meaning. Jesus, the Bread of Life and the Lamb of God, would soon be broken and spilled out for all of them…and for us.

This One of the Twelve, one of the inner circle whom Jesus had lived with for three years, walked and taught along the road from town to town, to seek and to save the lost, left the Table, left the mission, left Jesus to finish what evil had tempted him to do.

Today, the name Judas is synonymous with the very word betrayer. Don’t be a Judas, we say, when seeing someone begin to tear down others. I don’t want to be a Judas, do you? Then work hard, when tempted to tear down, to turn our thinking around to what can we could do and say to build each other up. We need each other. Let’s not be that “One…of the Twelve.”

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Dear Heavenly Father,
You actually served Your betrayer that night before confronting him with the Truth of his deed. You then sent him on his way. How that must have grieved you. May we think first before we speak ill of anyone or the mission of which we are involved, no matter where we are. May we build each other up in ways that bring you glory, honor and praise. Continue to be with us…
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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