The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 4 - Day 3
The Hatred of the World
Judas and the Chief Priests
Meditation on Scripture- Read Luke 22:1-6 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
It has already been clear from Luke’s account that the religious leadership had come to hate Jesus intensely, so much so that they wanted him dead. They had to keep good relations with the people, however, so they could not simply put him to death. While they were considering what to do, Judas came to them. The motivation of Judas has been the subject of much speculation throughout the centuries. Ultimately however, it is not important. Whatever his reason, he allowed himself to be convinced that betraying Jesus was a good idea. Luke says that Satan was particularly at work and entered into Judas. This would explain Judas’ lack of wise judgement and poor choice. Satan’s urging gave Judas the courage to arrange a betrayal with the chief priests. They contracted a price with him that was substantial and Judas looked for an opportunity to betray Jesus when the crowd was not around.
This is a passage about the unbelief of both Judas and the religious leaders. We might wonder how the religious leaders could have seen so many miracles by Jesus yet not believed. It is the same question we might ask today. How can so many people not believe? We see in Judas how the devil is able to use people for his purposes, when they allow him access. Judas commits an terrible act of betrayal that even he will later regret. How often does the devil cause people to do harm to themselves and others? Judas will have remorse without repentance. Satan will have no remorse.
Things to Consider –
· Notice that the religious leadership of the people were particularly unrighteous, even to the point of plotting to put someone, Jesus, to death. How is it that people who think they are serving God can be so self-interested? Can you think of other examples where you have seen this happen?
· Do you think greed was a significant motivation for Judas? What might he have planned to do with the money? What do you think he thought would be the outcome of his actions?
· Does money ever play an inordinate role in your life? Do you ever do things only because money is an issue?
· Does money ever cause you to make wrong decisions or say wrong things?
· Have you ever been betrayed? Have you ever had someone not believe in you? How did this feel?
· Are there people in leadership that you do not trust?
Guide for Prayer –
· Close your eyes and take one full minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· Remember the words Jesus said to Peter. “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 16:17 Thank God for the gift of faith and for opening your heart to. believe in him.
· Thank God for being faithful to his promises and loyal to you. Thank God for the promise that he will never leave you or forsake you.
· Ask God for grace never to turn away from him but always believe and be faithful. Pray that your family members will never turn away from him. Pray for any who need to turn toward him.
· Ask God not to allow money to have an inordinate hold in your life. Confess any ways you worry excessively about financial matters.
· Ask God to help you be a loyal person, to your friends, to your responsibilities, to your word. Consider any areas you need help to do so and ask God for strength.
· Pray for those who are poor in your community. Pray for the poor in our country. Pray for the poor around the world.
· Pray for people in leadership that they will be righteous, honest, and good.
· Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God. Offer whatever prayers and praises seem appropriate.