Weekend, November 19, 2022
As Jesus said ‘I am he,’ they all drew back and fell to the ground! (John 18:6 NLT)
You would think Judas would have used this as an opportunity to repent. With just three words from Jesus, the crowd that came to arrest Him in the Garden of Gethsemane fell backward. Judas was seeing the power of God once again.
But Judas continued with his plan, blindsided by greed—and perhaps by his disappointment with Jesus. Jesus wasn’t the kind of Messiah that Judas was looking for. He was kind of hoping that Jesus would overthrow Rome and establish His own kingdom.
Yet things didn’t work out as he had hoped because Jesus revealed that His kingdom was not of this world. Judas ignored all the warnings, and Matthew’s Gospel tells us that he walked up to Jesus and greeted him with a kiss.
Like Judas, there are people today who “follow God” yet are not interested in how they can serve Him but in how God can serve them. They will turn to the Lord in times of crisis, maybe when their marriage is falling apart or they’ve lost a job or they find themselves addicted to drugs or alcohol.
God, who is so gracious and merciful, hears their cry and rescues them. But all too often, people abandon God after He has delivered them—after He has put their marriage back on track, after He has led them to get a job, after He has freed them from their addiction. In effect, they’re saying, “Thanks, God! Until the next crisis!” But in doing this, they’re actually missing out.
That’s because the real blessing of coming to faith is not just being rescued from a crisis. That is one of the fringe benefits, but the real blessing is knowing God and bringing Him glory. Yet so many people miss this. They want only what they can get from God, and when they’ve gotten it, they abandon Him. The greatest blessing of all is walking with God and knowing Him.
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