Day 31

The Plot to Kill Jesus

from the Luke reading plan


Luke 22:1-71, Deuteronomy 16:1-8, Galatians 1:3-5

BY Guest Writer

When I was a freshman in college, I grew in my faith like never before. I became captivated by the gospel, thirsty for truth, and passionate about Jesus. It was one of the sweetest and most vibrant chapters of my faith, but this explosive growth was accompanied by one negative consequence: self-righteousness.

With my newfound convictions, I felt strongly about the way things should be done, and the way things should not be done. When I went home on breaks, I lectured my parents about our home church and the things that needed to change. I pronounced harsh judgments on friends who were not following Jesus. I frowned disapprovingly when my boyfriend’s parents drank wine with their dinner. I was, in a word, insufferable.

Thankfully, my parents were patient and wise. They listened and gently challenged some of my thinking, but they also recognized I was young and in need of shepherding. In contrast with my demeanor, they showed grace.

I will never forget that season of my life, when my love for Jesus resulted in some very un-Jesus-like behavior. I will forever be humbled by it, because it continues to remind me of the truth that human brokenness and sin runs deep, perverting even our noblest intentions.

In Luke 22, this aspect of sin is on full display. First we have the chief priests, who oversee Jesus’s arrest. In his commentary, The Gospel of Luke, New Testament scholar Joel B. Green explains that these religious leaders “believe themselves to be serving God, yet unwittingly serve a diabolical aim.” Then, we have a disciple who, in his desperation to defend his teacher, draws his sword and cuts off the ear of a chief priest’s servant. Swiftly and sharply, Jesus condemns this violence (v.51).

Within this scene we see two different types of people who are trying to honor God and doing just the opposite instead. How can we avoid doing the same?

First, we must admit that we will inevitably do the same, because we are human. The same brokenness that runs through the high priests, and the same brokenness that runs through the disciple (Peter, according to the parallel account in John 18) also runs through us. We will get it wrong, and that is precisely why we need a Savior. Even our best efforts can become mangled by sin. That said, the Lord’s Table—which sits at the center of this chapter—is a compass of sorts.

“And he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said,
‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me’” (Luke 22:19).

When Jesus instructs His disciples to remember, He is not only talking about His death. He is also talking about the example He set throughout His life. Jesus is the Savior who does not need weapons or worldly power to achieve His means. Jesus transformed the entire world by humbling Himself and laying Himself down—first in a manger, and then on a cross—and this is the standard to which we are held. This is how we preach Christ, without opposing Him in the process.

 

Sharon Hodde Miller leads Bright City Church in Durham, NC with her husband Ike. She also holds a PhD on women and calling, and is the author of Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It’s Not about You.

Post Comments (29)

29 thoughts on "The Plot to Kill Jesus"

  1. Stephanie D says:

    It is so true that we often see our intentions as the part that matters, when it is how we make the other person feel that truly matters

  2. moon says:

    Knows our hearts. Jesus knew that as long as He was on earth, leading by example his disciples would walk accordingly. But He also knew that when the flesh arose in them, as it does in us, they would need strength to endure and push through. That is why He died. To give us direct access to His father in heaven and to the Holy Spirit.

  3. Steph C says:

    “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord” (Lk 22:61). He was in another room, yet He knew. He knew when Peter had denied him. He turned to look at him. He saw him. Later He comes to Peter. He seeks him out. He forgives and restores him. His knowledge is limitless. His mercy is without measure.

  4. Brittney Boucher says:

    I pray today to continue to walk as Jesus did and use him as the example to live my life by.

  5. moon says:

    I am so grateful that God searches us and knows our hearts. Jesus knew that as long as He was on earth, leading by example his disciples would walk accordingly. But He also knew that when the flesh arose in them, as it does in us, they would need strength to endure and push through. That is why He died. To give us direct access to His father in heaven and to the Holy Spirit.

  6. Alison Keener says:

    Wow that’s convicting. ❤️

  7. Natalia Phillips says:

    Our intentions are pure but our actions do not always align.
    I am so grateful that God searches us and knows our hearts. Jesus knew that as long as He was on earth, leading by example his disciples would walk accordingly. But He also knew that when the flesh arose in them, as it does in us, they would need strength to endure and push through. That is why He died. To give us direct access to His father in heaven and to the Holy Spirit.

    Was He afraid? As a man, yes! He asked God to “remove this cup,” and had to be strengthened by an angel. But did he follow thru? Yes, because He knew it was the will of God.

    May we continue to seek the face of God, knowing that all of the strength we need resides in Him. Be reminded that when we are weak He is made strong. We may not always get it right, but He will always be there in a gentlemanly fashion waiting on us to invite Him into our lives, to mold into into the vessels needed for His kingdom.

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