Day 24

Not of This World

from the John reading plan


John 18:1-40, Daniel 7:14

BY Guest Writer

Text: John 18:1-40, Daniel 7:14

The hour Jesus was born for had finally come. He’d been predicting it, waiting for it, knowing what it would require of Him: arrest, pain, and death. For anyone else, this would be a crisis moment, to be sure. For the Son of God, it was an opportunity for the most profound display of obedience, love, and humility ever known.

John’s account of this night shows us the holiness of Jesus, God incarnate—deliberate, powerful, wise, and gentle. Put simply, He is not of this world. But the people surrounding Him? They proved themselves to be oh-so very human.

At this point, Judas’ secret sin had finally consumed him. All those months on the road—stealing from the disciples’ treasury, betraying his friends—had prepared him for this moment, and he intended to capitalize on it. Jesus responded as only He can: by declaring His deity, revealing His glory, and protecting His disciples. And even as He submitted to His arrest, Jesus gave Judas one last chance to see His true identity.

Peter was a man of action, refusing to sit around and wait for Jesus to die. He followed his heart, despite Jesus’ teaching and example—despite knowing better. First, he sliced off the soldier’s ear to protect his Lord, then he denied Jesus altogether. His Savior’s response was not one of condemnation, but of grace. He protected Peter, gently rebuked him, and restored him (John 21). He continued to build Peter’s faith, even in His darkest hours.

Annas was one of the richest, most powerful Jews of his time. There was no way he’d be willing to let some upstart from the outskirts destroy everything he’d spent a lifetime building. Believing Jesus was leading the people away from his agenda, Annas had no problem breaking a few laws to get rid of Him. But Jesus had nothing to hide, no secret life to reveal. So He turned the tables on Annas, subtly challenging the leader’s interrogation of Him (which had been done in secret, and therefore, was against their civil laws).

As for Pilate, he’d learned not to interfere in Jewish matters and had become skilled at shifting responsibility. To him, this was a Jewish problem for the Jews to work out amongst themselves. But to Jesus, this wasn’t just a Jewish issue but a human one, an eternal one. It was about a Kingdom impacting the whole world and beyond, a Kingdom rooted in Truth.

In this series of events, John’s Gospel makes one thing clear: our Savior is fundamentally different from this world. His response is never fed by deception or greed or fear, but rather by an otherworldly compassion for His people and command over all circumstances. He will always accomplish His gracious plan, often in unforeseeable ways.

Like the events in John 18, life can seem like one long, dark night, leaving us feeling betrayed, wounded, and scared. It’s easy to relate to Peter’s impulse to fix the situation, or Pilate’s attempts to distance himself from it. But then I see Jesus walking into the darkness, knowing all there is to fear, yet bolstered by confidence in the Father’s plan to rescue all who love Him.

It’s tempting, perhaps even good, to feel inspired by Christ’s example. But I’m finding I don’t always have the wherewithal to follow Jesus’ lead. I need to lean on Him, push against Him, knowing He will never falter or fail. Seeing His response to such an array of broken people is healing and soul-nourishing for me, a sinner. Our Savior was gentle, trustworthy, and sovereign on the darkest night in history, and He will be so with us today, even now.

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Carolyn Denny dabbled in the Navy, politics, business, and publishing before she discovered her true calling: household management. Today she is raising three boys and a baby girl with her husband Josh in Nashville, Tennessee. In those precious moments tucked between bedtimes and carpools, Carolyn loves to teach the Bible and write about how God shows up in her messy world.

Post Comments (92)

92 thoughts on "Not of This World"

  1. Taquia says:

    Jesus is so awesome!

  2. Danya Ho says:

    Our Savior was gentle, trustworthy, and sovereign on the darkest night in history, and He will be so with us today, even now.

    1. Augustina says:

      These topics are so coninsfug but this helped me get the job done.

  3. Zoe says:

    I believe it is good to feel inspired by Christ’s example. I certainly do. Inspired to oneness with God–inspired to depend on His grace as wholeheartedly as possible. Inspired to pray for otherworldly compassion in my own heart and for wisdom. All the while knowing that some days I will still fail, but that I am forgiven and restored nonetheless.

  4. Anna says:

    “For anyone else, this would be a crisis moment, to be sure. For the Son of God, it was an opportunity for the most profound display of obedience, love, and humility ever known.”
    Feeling challenged about how I react in time of crisis… don’t think I display obedience, love and humility. So thankful for the example of grace given to Peter, that I know Jesus also gives me.
    Lord, strengthen me, grow my heart closer to your heart so that everyday, in crisis or not, I will obey, love and be humble. Thank you for grace to cover my failures.

  5. Cheri says:

    I want so much to respond to the difficulties of this life the way that Jesus responded on this night!! I don’t want to respond in desperation and fear, but with grace and truth, just as Jesus did. I want to learn from You, Jesus. I long to sit at Your feet and learn and grow through my time spent with You. Thank You that You make that available to us, Lord!!

  6. Kersti says:

    What a beautiful reminder that how broken we are, and how wonderfully gracious he is to us. I needed to read this today.
    “In this series of events, John’s Gospel makes one thing clear: our Savior is fundamentally different from this world. His response is never fed by deception or greed or fear, but rather by an otherworldly compassion for His people and command over all circumstances. He will always accomplish His gracious plan, often in unforeseeable ways.”

    Gods been working on fear with me, may he continue to give me strength and ability to take the chance in front of me even when they are scary.

  7. Kelly says:

    It is so important to sit in the truth of the death of Jesus. To read this scripture over and over again is so important. To understand all that goes into this death is something that needs to sit in my soul. I am so grateful

    1. Heather Fringer says:

      I love this Kelly! This is a first for me going through detail by detail everything that Jesus went through for all of us since I was never good with sticking to a reading plan until I found SRT. I am simply amazed by this but it really helps to deepen the meaning of the love that He has for us and for me!

  8. Christina says:

    The devotions this week have been so powerful, and this one is no less so. I so appreciate that God drew people like Peter to Himself to let me know that my mess is never too much for Him. I appreciate that the gamut of human depravity is displayed in Scripture in stark contrast to Jesus Himself, who simply walks into it and reveals it by His very presence. Wasn’t that why the Jewish leaders sought to kill Him in the first place? He must have been tempted to respond in His humanity to some degree, but He was the most God-tuned human to ever live. Even though we may never attain that atune-ment, we know it is possible and can be a goal of ours. So good to see what it looks like!

    1. Minerva says:

      I want to send you an award for most helpful intneert writer.

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