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Ready - Or Not?

We must be ready every day. Luke 22

Luke 22 (2) (7)

Pray Psalm 22.23-25.

You who fear the L
ORD, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.

Sing Psalm 22.23-25.
(Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord Is King)
All you who fear the Lord, now praise His holy Name!
You children of His glorious Word, declare His fame!
We stand in awe of our eternal God, and on His mercy call.

For He has not despised the anguish of our King,
nor from Him hid His eyes, Who knew such suffering.
Let praise arise from all who love and serve the Ruler of the skies!

Read Luke 22.35-71; meditate on verse 45.

1. What had Jesus been doing?

2. How did He find His disciples?

The contrast between Jesus, His disciples, and His tormentors in Luke 22 is dramatic. He is always calm, knowing, unperturbed, steady, and strong. His disciples are variously worried, grasping, frantic, hasty, fearful, and self-concerned. Jesus’ tormentors are conniving, furtive, bullying, brutish, cruel, and haughty.

We understand the disposition of the religious leaders. For them, it was now or never where Jesus was concerned. Either they find a way to be done with Him during the Passover, or His movement would get out of control and the Romans would intervene. How mean they appear, buying off Judas, coming against Jesus with swords and clubs, beating and mocking Him, and subjecting Him to a kangaroo court. This is where opposition to Jesus ultimately leads, bringing out the worst of sinful men that they might be done with the best of all men. They thought they were ready to finish Jesus. They would discover otherwise.

The disciples were too preoccupied with their own interests to hear Jesus or follow His lead. Momentarily alarmed by the thought of one of them betraying Jesus, they quickly returned to their earlier argument about who would be the greatest (Lk. 9.46-48). They believed that having two swords would be all they needed to usher in the Kingdom of God, but they weren’t ready to address the cowardice that ruled their souls when push came to shove in the garden and warming their hands in the enemy’s fire. They declined to follow Jesus’ example to agonize in prayer and instead took a nap as their betrayer approached. Probably they all, like Peter, thought they were ready to go with Jesus to prison or death. But of course, they were not.

Only Jesus was ready for what was about to happen. For He was steeped in Scripture, helped by angels and the Spirit, garbed in righteousness, sustained by prayer, and focused on His future glory. He was entirely selfless before the will of the Father for His glory and the good of His people, and thus He was ready for whatever He might have to endure.

What about us? Are we ready to serve Jesus, come what may?

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

So begins Yeats’ 1920 poem, The Second Coming.

Sleep, although restorative, can also be a cop-out from reality.
So far, it has been the go-to remedy for Peter and the boys when stressed.

Earlier in Jesus’ ministry, we remember their response to the Transfiguration:
“As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (Lk. 9.29-31). And the disciples’ attention was riveted on Jesus, fixed on His appearance, distressed to hear of His coming decease. Well, no. “Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep…” (Lk.9.32). Ah. Maybe lacking conviction?

Now this. “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow” (Lk. 22.44, 45). Indeed, lacking in passionate intensity.

We too often forget Whom we serve, and succumb to the throttle of the enemy. Brother Peter spoke from experience when he wrote: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1Pet. 5.8). He passed along to us Jesus’ words to them: “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Lk. 22.46).

Remember the powerful God Whom you serve: “The voice of the L
ORD is powerful…” (Ps. 29.4).
Be decisive; don’t lack conviction; and follow Him to the end:
“I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, to the very end.” (Ps. 119.112)
Be full of passionate intensity for Him, His Kingdom, and His work.
Sleep soundly for restoration; but not on the job.
“And do this, knowing the time, that
now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for
now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand.
Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness,
and let us put on the armor of light” (Rom. 13.11, 12).

Convicted. Passionate. Ready.

For reflection
1. What do you need to do to be ready to follow Jesus and serve Him each day?

2. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in helping us to be ready to follow and serve Jesus?

3. What is the role of Scripture in helping us to be ready?

We should pray also to be enabled to resist unto the shedding of our blood, striving against sin, if ever called to it. When next you dwell in imagination upon the delights of some favorite sin, think of its effects as you behold them here! See its fearful effects in the garden of Gethsemane, and desire, by the help of God, deeply to hate and to forsake that enemy, to ransom sinners from whom the Redeemer prayed, agonized, and bled. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 22.39-46

Pray Psalm 22.26-28.
Pray that the Lord will make you ready this day for seeking and advancing His Kingdom. Pray about your activities and commit them to the Lord, asking that Jesus might work in and through you for His glory.

Sing Psalm 22.26-28.
(Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord Is King)
Then all the poor shall eat and praise with us the Lord.
Forever we His praise repeat and trust His Word.
Praise God above, all you who keep His vows and who His mercies love!

All nations shall repent and hasten to the Lord.
All those to whom His truth is sent shall praise His Word.
The Lord is King! His sovereign rule on high now we His people sing!

T. M. and Susie Moore 

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by
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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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