THE MAN WITH A PLAN: Actually, two men with a plan, but that doesn't rhyme. As the drama increases, Luke contrasts the two plans that are beginning to unfold; plans that have been in the works for the whole of history up till this point.
PLAN# 1 - Satan has laid hold of Judas (v3), but it's not like Judas is an innocent victim who just happened to be possessed and then forced the establishment to do his bidding. Look at all of the language in this opening paragraph that shows how complicit man is in the death of Jesus: The establishment was "looking for some way to get rid of Jesus (v2)." Judas "discussed with them (v4)," rather than forcing them to do something. The establishment were "delighted (v5)" to utilize Judas, and then he "consented, and watched for an opportunity (v6)." Satan is definitely the author of and very much involved in this first plan, but remember, Satan can not make anyone, including you, do anything. When you sin, it's you and you alone that are responsible.
PLAN# 2 - Jesus knows exactly what is happening as well, and He's prepared for it. He sends an advance team ahead, and they find the situation exactly as Jesus has described to them (v13). Jesus remains in control even as Satan's plan is being executed. Isn't it amazing that not only does Jesus allow Satan & Judas to implement their evil plans, but that Jesus uses their actions to purchase redemption for you and me.
LITTLE WORD, BIG MEANING: Certainly there's lots of theology going on in the background as Jesus institutes the Last Supper with His disciples, but as you read through it once again, key in on one little word that's used twice: until (v16 & 18). The Last Supper is the beginning of a new relationship between Jesus and His people. As we participate in this sacrament (reminder, WCRC will be doing so on August 16), we are united with Christ right now, but we are also reminded that Jesus has promised to join us physically at this meal when the Kingdom of God comes.
USE THE KEYS, PETER! This past Sunday evening, we learned about what it meant when Jesus gave the Keys of the Kingdom to Peter- that Peter would show the Church how to preach the gospel and discipline one another. Once again in today's chapter, Jesus implores Peter to use the Keys he's been given. Jesus knows that Peter will crash and burn in a big way in v54-62, but tells Peter to get back up and "strengthen his brothers (v32)." That's exactly what the church does.
MAKE IT A HABIT: We're very familiar with the story of Jesus praying and sweating drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, but notice it was not a one time thing for Jesus. He went there "as usual (v39)." We've seen Jesus make a regular habit of going to quiet places for solitude & silence, and to pray without distraction.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our great God, who's plan of salvation has been completely worked out
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: "Pray that you will not fall into temptation (v40)." "Not my will, but yours be done (v42)."
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: