Today’s Bible reading is Isaiah 31 and John 18.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” (John 18:1-5)
Knowing all that would happen to him… Judas’ betrayal, the arrest, the disciples’ abandonment, the trials, the false witnesses, Peter’s denial, the slaps, the mocking, the scourging, the long cross-bearing walk to Golgotha, the crucifixion, the weight of the sins of the world… Jesus came forward.
How? Listen to what he had said earlier that same night.
“I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” (14:10)
“I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.” (14:31)
“I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (15:10)
“I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” (16:32)
Not one of us knows how this week will unfold and what lies around the next bend of our own path. But if these truths served as sufficient fuel for Jesus–knowing all that would happen to him–can’t they serve as a source of present help and courage and peace to us? If these truths could support the weight of knowing all that would happen to him over the next few hours, can’t they continue to bear the weight of whatever comes our way this week? If we made those truths personal…
“I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”
“I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”
“I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”
“I am not alone, for the Father is with me.”
…couldn’t we walk in the light of Jesus’ promise: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27)?
If knowing all that would happen to him didn’t rob Jesus of his peace, isn’t his lead worth following by faith this week?