Monday, April 10, 2017

Daily Devotion for Lent 2017 - Day 35, Monday of Holy Week

Today's Reading: John 18:19-27 (NRSV)

Jesus is defending himself against formal questioning.  He does not change his story or try to pretend to be someone he is not.  He doesn't deny his identity but basically states, "What you see is what you get."

"You've arrested me for what I've already done and said.  You know it and I know it."

Sometimes when we state the obvious, it is upsetting.  And so they struck him for impertinence.

At this point we know that Jesus cannot win here.  He tells them basically that he's taught what they think he taught.  He says, "If you're hitting me for this, I think you would hit me for anything."

We can see that the injustice is that the trial is a facade.  Jesus knows it and we can see it too.

What is fascinating here is how John plays this scene off Peter's second denial.

What if everyone were so upfront?
So while Jesus never wavers from being authentic, Peter is shown as being false.

As we see the human condition, we understand that it is often quite difficult for us to be truly real all of the time. There are situations where we may be afraid to reveal too much of ourselves for fear of how others will react.

As we consider the journey of Jesus to the cross, we remind ourselves that the suffering we face in this life will only be compounded if we are not honest with ourselves and those we encounter.

Prayer for the day:

Almighty God, Who alone gives us the breath of life, and alone can keep alive in us the breathing of holy desires, we beseech You for Your compassion's sake to sanctify all our thoughts and endeavors, that we may neither begin any action without a pure intention, nor continue it without Your blessing; and grant that, having the eyes of our understanding purged to behold things invisible and unseen, we may in heart be inspired with Your wisdom, and in work be upheld by Your strength, and in the end be accepted of You, as Your faithful servants, having done all things to Your glory, and thereby to our endless peace.  Grant this prayer, O Lord.  Amen.

            Rowland Willams, Church of England, 19th Century

Photo by Wordshore via  Used under the Creative Commons license.

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