This is love…

John 18:1-11

When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”

They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?”

And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,” that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

 How well do we know Him?  Jesus gave us his words, but more than that He put action to his words; he demonstrated just how truthful they were.  He gave himself; they came to take him but he denied them that action and gave himself to them.  Facing the opposition head-on, Jesus confronts them and gives himself to them.  He was not taken, he went freely.  He had a ‘cup’ to drink; he willingly accepted it and in that gesture modeled for us the ultimate in love and submission.  He could have done differently; they expected him to resist.  He was capable; they had heard and witnessed his miracles.  What was required was obedience and he was found faithful.  He showed us it could be done.  He connected submission to obedience; obedience to a higher power.  Jesus spoke of love and in his final act revealed the full scope of true love.  His words were: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Another place tells us this: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.”  This was the cup he was given, this was the cup he accepted and drank, for us…  Each of us will when faithful and obedient, do the same.  It is packaged differently for each one, but within the acceptance of the love extended to us is an obligation to submission and that is the giving up of self.  When we continue to see the word ‘I’ in our conversation, our discourse with one another, and the ‘I’ far out numbers any other pronoun, we have not given up self as asked.  We still operate within the scope and realm of our own space and world.  This is often even evident when superficially we are working for others.  How dedicated are we?  To the exclusion of our own desires, demands, designs?   ” He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? “

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