ESOCS Devotional 28 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with me will betray me.’ And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, ‘Is it I?’ And another said, ‘Is it I?’ He answered and said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, who dips with me in the dish. The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.’” Mark 14:18-21
TEXT: MARK 14:12-31
12 On the first day [of the Feast] of Unleavened Bread, when [as was customary] they killed the Passover lamb, [Jesus’] disciples said to Him, Where do You wish us to go [and] prepare the Passover [supper] for You to eat?
13 And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, Go into the city, and a man carrying an [earthen] jar or pitcher of water will meet you; follow him.
14 And whatever [house] he enters, say to the master of the house, The Teacher says: Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover [supper] with My disciples?
15 And he will [himself] show you a large upper room, furnished [with carpets and with dining couches properly spread] and ready; there prepare for us.
16 Then the disciples set out and came to the city and found [everything] just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
17 And when it was evening, He came with the Twelve [apostles].
18 And while they were at the table eating, Jesus said, Surely I say to you, one of you will betray Me, [one] who is eating [here] with Me.
19 And they began to show that they were sad and hurt, and to say to Him one after another, Is it I? or, It is not I, is it?
20 He replied to them, It is one of the Twelve [apostles], one who is dipping [bread] into the [same deep] dish with Me.
21 For the Son of Man is going as it stands written concerning Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good (profitable and wholesome) for that man if he had never been born.
22 And while they were eating, He took a loaf [of bread], praised God and gave thanks and asked Him to bless it to their use. [Then] He broke [it] and gave to them and said, Take. Eat. This is My body.
23 He also took a cup [of the juice of grapes], and when He had given thanks, He gave [it] to them, and they all drank of it.
24 And He said to them, This is My blood [which ratifies] the newcovenant, [the blood] which is being poured out for (on account of) many.
25 Solemnly and surely I tell you, I shall not again drink of the fruit of the vine till that day when I drink it [a]of a new and a higher quality in God’s kingdom.
26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
27 And Jesus said to them, You will all fall away this night [that is, you will be caused to stumble and will begin to distrust and desert Me], for it stands written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.
28 But after I am raised [to life], I will go before you into Galilee.
29 But Peter said to Him, Even if they all fall away and are caused to stumble and distrust and desert You, yet I will not [do so]!
30 And Jesus said to him, Truly I tell you, this very night, before a cock crows twice, you will utterly deny Me [disclaiming all connection with Me] three times.
When Jesus started His ministry, He began to call His disciples who left all and followed Him. Several other people, because of what they saw and heard from Jesus, also followed Him. These were His disciples. Out of these people, He called twelve to Himself and made them His Apostles. Among them was a man called Judas Iscariot. By his appointment as an Apostle, he was among the privileged few. Christ invested much more in them. He spent extra hours teaching them, explaining things to them, preparing and equipping them for the ministry. They were with Him wherever he went and shared His private life. It was a relationship of trust. They were His closest friends, His confidants and He loved them. No one knew Jesus as they did.
It is unthinkable that a person from this category of followers will be false to Jesus and betray Him. That is why the Apostles reacted with shock and sadness when Jesus told them that one of them would betray Him. Betrayal is a very painful experience for it is done only by a trusted and very close person. If someone has ever betrayed you, you will understand that Jesus was in pain because a trusted friend who He had given much to and still had so much in stock for, was about to betray Him. Judas did. He violated the confidence Jesus had on him; he proved to be false and delivered Jesus into the hands of His enemies.
Christians are very dear to Christ. We are His priceless treasure for whom He shed His blood. He has freed us from sin and the power of Satan, saved us from eternal death and gave us eternal life. He has made us priests and kings. He has given us the Holy Spirit and filled us with great grace and ability. We are His Apostles, His representatives, His mouth pieces, and His examples to the unbelievers. It is a most unfortunate thing and heart breaking when a believer falls away and betrays Christ. We must learn from the fall of Judas.
- He communed with the enemy. Believers must keep away from all evil communications, otherwise it is a matter of time before they fall and betray their salvation.
- He was a man that loved money. Believers should take care to ensure that money or the material things do not rule their lives and become the driving force that dominates them. For the love of money is the root of all evil and the love of the world is enmity with God. A believer that loves money or loves the world will fall and betray Christ.
Guard your salvation jealously!
- Apart the two things enumerated above, how else can a Christian guide his life?
- Lord, help us to stand firmly in faith. May our daily life bring glory to you. Amen.
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ESOCS Devotional 28 April 2023