Daily Devotional for September 2

September 2                                                      Mark 14:43-52


   "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords
 and clubs, to capture me? Day after day I was with you
     in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me."


Why did the crowd come with swords and clubs when they
could have seized Jesus without them? Jesus was a teacher,
not a robber or a thief. Throughout his ministry, Jesus had
demonstrated his commitment to change through nonviolent
means.


The crowd had all the advantages in the Garden of Geth-
semane. They outnumbered the disciples; they had one of
Jesus' own followers, Judas, among them; they had the prestige
of the high priests and the scribes and the elders behind them.
Why were they so afraid that they came with swords and clubs?


Perhaps they were afraid because a small, inner voice told them
they were doing something wrong.


Jesus had not done anything to deserve death. Even Pilate, who
would play a part in crucifying Jesus, sensed this - "For he
perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had
delivered up Jesus." (Mark 15:10) Surely the crowd in the
garden knew it, too.


During those moments in life when we must choose between
one path and another, we can learn something from the crowd
at Gethsemane. When we consider one path, do we find
ourselves trying to justify it? Can the path we are choosing
stand on its own merits, or are we arming ourselves with
"weapons" to defend it?


Each day, as we draw closer to God through our ministries,
through prayer, and through study of the Scriptures, we can
trust God to help us discern what is best for us; all we need
do is open ourselves to God's presence. Like the crowd at
Gethsemane, we need to listen to that small, inner voice.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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