Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him. ~ John 6:70, 71 (ESV)
READING: Luke 22:47-53
We must admire our Savior’s courage. And because He was so strong in facing His trials, He can give us courage to overcome the challenges of church planting. He knows what it feels like to enter foreign territory, to trust untested co-workers, to work hard, to be disappointed and betrayed, to suffer, and to triumph in the end.
He placed the future of His church in the hands of twelve ordinary men,and one of them was a traitor. Jesus’ courage in choosing these men is wrapped up in the mystery of His sovereign will. It’s beyond us to fully understand. Judas’ duplicity came from his own stony heart, but it also fulfilled the divine plan (cf. John 13:18).
Jesus knew about it from the beginning – as God had always known it – but as a Man, the drama of His betrayal was as real, as terrifyingly sequential, as an avalanche. The very events He planned and set in motion, eons before, broke His heart when they unfolded in time. His close “friend’s” treachery played out face to face, the kiss felt sharp as a spear, as cold as a tomb.
And again, Jesus knew it all going in – the purse pilfered, the secret conspiracy and Garden arrest, and on to the cross.
Church planting can be daunting. It takes brave disciples to start a church. But our Savior has walked this road, His victory gives us hope and His Spirit fills us with courage beyond ourselves.
Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your courage! Strengthen me to follow You today, and to rely upon Your Spirit. Amen.