Daily Devotion for March 30, 2011
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Rachmaninoff's "Praise the Lord", sung beautifully by an unlikely group: The USSR Ministry of Culture Choir!
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on my weakness, and mercifully give me those things which for my unworthiness I dare not, and for my blindness I cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Turn me, O good Lord, and so shall I be turned. Be favorable, O Lord, be favorable to your people, who turn to you in weeping, fasting, and praying. For you are a merciful God, full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great pity. You spare us when we deserve punishment, and even in your wrath think upon mercy. Spare your people, good Lord, spare them, and do not let your heritage be brought to confusion. Hear me, O Lord, for your mercy is great, and after the multitude of your mercies look upon me and all your people; Through the merits and mediation of your blessed Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!
John 13:21-30 (NIV)
Jesus Identifies His Betrayer
After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
Notes on the Scripture
In this poignant scene, Jesus identifies Judas, one of his beloved followers, as the person who will betray Him to the Pharisees and give Him over to death. Judas has already become corrupted; John has earlier told us that Judas steals from the communal treasury. Jesus knows what is about to happen, and tells Judas to "make it snappy".
To identify his betrayer, Jesus gives him a piece of bread. This may seem like an odd way to identify someone, until you reflect that very soon, the last supper will occur. Jesus will make the bread of the meal a symbol of his body. By giving a piece of bread to Judas, Jesus is symbolically handing over his body to him; not in the holiness of the last supper, but so that Judas may destroy it. For only by the death of his body will Jesus achieve his victory over death.
Judas runs out into the night. Since the last two chapters have been filled with the image of darkness as the plight of the sinful, lost soul, and light as salvation, Judas' running out of the room and into the darkness symbolizes that he has given himself to sin.