Links Daily Devotional

Friends of Jesus

“Say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’” (Luke 22:11, NIV)

I’ll fess up right here. I would have been done with these bumbling fools long ago.

They rarely remembered what Jesus said, and when they did they showed very little understanding.

They unveiled their weaknesses right in front of him, like children stealing candy as the storekeeper looks on.

Their faith—the one thing he wanted to see most in them—was wavering at best, and within hours of being exposed as virtually nonexistent.

Yet here was the Lord, sending them on another mission, and this one for the purpose of their eating the Jews’ most beloved meal together. Jesus knew full well what the ensuing hours would hold for him. He knew his closest confidants would betray and abandon him. Why not just ditch them now? If he was going to bear the weight of sin alone tomorrow, why not get a restful night on his own now?

Jesus is ever remarkable, isn’t he? If your mouth doesn’t fall open at his words, his actions, his miracles, his heart just about every time you read your way through the gospels, it may be time for a refreshing. It may be time to yearn in prayer for this kind of amazed response.

Maybe that was the disciples’ problem. As much as they had marveled at him in the beginning, perhaps it was their now-accustomed view of him that caused them to miss so much of what he was about, so much of what was coming.

But Jesus was giving them one more chance. He was sitting down with his friends to explain it all over again: he would be betrayed, he would die on the morrow, his death carried the grand purpose of sacrifice and bloodshed for the forgiveness of sins, he would do this alone—and yet , “I confer on you a kingdom” (Luke 22:29).

I cannot imagine what made Jesus stick with these men. I cannot imagine what makes him stick with me. But for this: his great love. If ever you get to thinking that God is not so merciful as he himself says he is, remember this: in the final hours before his crucifixion, he dined with those whose sins would kill him, all for their sake. Talk about remarkable!

Jeff Hopper

April 3, 2012

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