- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read John 18
After Jesus finished his prayer, praying for himself, for his disciples, and for all who would believe in him, he went to an olive garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives near to Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives was a mile long mount of olives and a watch tower of Jerusalem. Jesus and his disciples used to visit there. The olive garden was also called Gethsemane.
Judas Iscariot brought Roman soldiers and officers of the Jewish temple police to arrest Jesus. Messianic power of Jesus was expressed when soldiers drew back and fell to the ground when Jesus said, “I am he.” Jesus’ arrest and his fate was self-chosen, self-revelation as suffering messiah who was prophesized long ago, who died his redemptive death for the salvation of the world, which was the work of God.
Why did Judas Iscariot betray Jesus? Judas Iscariot was a Jewish radical revolutionist and followed Jesus with expectation that Jesus should liberated Israel by force. But Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God was the reign of God in love, and Jesus predicted his suffering, death and resurrection to build the kingdom. Judas’ mislead expectation led him to betray Jesus.
Peter was a man of emotionally impulsive character. He drew the sword and cut the ear of high priest’s servant in anger, and he denied Jesus three times in fear. Jesus’ answer to Peter was to submit himself to do the will of God, redemptive death on the cross.
The Jews tried to put Jesus to religious case on trial, but could not administer the death penalty that only governor had. It was pre-determined trial by Jewish leaders even though Pilot, the governor, could not find any criminal to be sentenced to death penalty. Jews appealed Pilot to crucify Jesus, a Roman sentence to death, not stoning him, Jewish sentence. Why?
The Jews charged Jesus with political reason, the King of the Jews. But the kingdom that Jesus taught was not political kingdom in earth. It was the Kingdom of God, the reign of God, the rule of God in love, which was the truth. And Jesus came to witness to the truth. But the Jews and Roman governor would not listen to the truth nor did they believe it.
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.