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The Scriptorium

More than Jesus?

Watch what you love. Luke 22.47-53

Luke 22 (2) (3)

Pray Psalm 55.16-19.
As for me, I will call upon God,
And the LORD shall save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice.
He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me,
For there were many against me.
God will hear, and afflict them,
Even He who abides from of old. Selah

Sing Psalm 55.16-19.
(Bread of Life: Break Thou the Bread of Life)
Lord, I will call on You, answer and save!
Noon, morning, evening too, my voice I raise.
Grant me Your peace, O Lord; answer my foes!
All who reject God’s Word He overthrows.

Read Luke 22.1-53; meditate on verses 47-53.

1. How was Jesus betrayed?

2. What did Jesus say to His disciples?

Here’s what can happen when we love anything more than Jesus. Judas loved money more than Jesus, so he betrayed Him into the hands of murderers and condemned himself to misery and death (v. 48). Seeing what was happening, the disciples immediately sprang into action, ready to wield the swords they had shown the Lord just a bit earlier (vv. 49, 50; cf. v. 38). But Jesus told them to allow what was happening; then He healed the servant of the high priest whom Peter had wounded (v. 51; cf. Jn. 18.10). Grace even in the midst of betrayal and false accusation.

Jesus boldly exposed the cowardice of this late-night action (vv. 52, 53). They had come prepared for a violent fight, even though they knew most of the populace would be asleep at this time. Jesus rebuked them for having already passed judgment on Him, as though He were a violent robber. He reminded them—doubtless to their chagrin—that they could have arrested Him any day while He was teaching in the temple. “But”, He wryly explained, “this is your hour, and the power of darkness” (v. 53).

Judas loved money more than he loved Jesus. The disciples loved safety more than they loved Jesus (Matt. 26.56). The mob didn’t love Jesus at all, and they carried their hatred of Him to its logical conclusion. At every moment Jesus asks, “Do you love me more than you love…?” (Jn. 21.15). Whatever we love more than Jesus, we will betray Jesus to possess, turning away from the Light of the world to return to the power of darkness.

The way to prevent this is to cling to the Word of God, keep your eyes on Jesus, and direct your soul to love Him above all else, come what may.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Dare we ever betray Jesus?

“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way,
when His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (Ps. 2.12).

Jesus asked Judas, and the question reverberates down through history to us:
“Are you betraying Me with a kiss?” (Lk. 22.48).
And the recommendation found in Scripture is, “NO, don’t do it.”

“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deut. 4.24).
“Then the earth shook and trembled;
the foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken,
because He was angry” (2 Sam. 22.8).
“The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion;
whoever provokes him to wrath sins against his own life” (Prov. 20.2).
“Seek the LORD and live, lest He break out like fire…” (Amos 5.6).

“Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words
which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets.
Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 7.12).

And the worst part about Judas’ betrayal? He did it with a kiss.
“Fervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross.
He who hates disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself;
when he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart;
though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly” (Prov. 26.23-26).

For our own safety, we must never, ever, love anything more than Jesus. Nor contemplate betraying Him. But then, why would we ever want to?

He is Jesus: The Alpha and Omega, Immanuel, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Light of the world, the Morning Star, the Prince of peace, our wonderful Counselor, the Lamb of God, our Savior, the Good Shepherd, the Way, Truth, and Life, the Anointed One, the Bread of life, the Chief Cornerstone, the Holy and Righteous One, the Lord of glory, our Teacher and Friend, the Messiah, the Word of God.
The Lover of our Soul.

Love anything, ever, more than Jesus? God help us—never!

For reflection
1. What should you do when you are tempted to betray Jesus?

2. What can you do to cultivate more love for Jesus?

3. How can believers encourage one another in loving Jesus? Whom will you encourage today?

Nothing can be a greater affront or grief to the Lord Jesus, than to be betrayed by those who profess to be his followers, and say that they love him. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 22.47-53

Pray Psalm 55.1-15.
Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulation. Call on the Lord to give you grace and courage to face any trial or adversity by looking to Jesus and resting in His work.

Sing Psalm 55.1-15.
(Bread of Life: Break Thou the Bread of Life)
Hear now my prayer, O Lord, hide not from me.
Answer me by Your Word and set me free!
Wicked men sore oppress; restless am I.
Lord, ease my soul’s distress and hear my cry!

My heart in fear abides; terror descends.
Horror with me resides and knows no end.
I would escape from here, flee like a dove.
Rescue me from my fear with shelt’ring love.

Let judgment fall, O Lord, let violence cease.
Daily they mock Your Word while sins increase.
You were for us betrayed; You bore our grief.
By You was judgment stayed for our relief.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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