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By Rev. Wayne Palmer

Lenten Devotion 2016

And they went and found it just as He had told them, and
they prepared the Passover (Luke 22:13).

Read Deuteronomy 16:1-8.

Jesus' instructions must surely have challenged the faith of
Peter and John. What were the odds they would see a man
carrying a jar of water? That he would lead them to a house
with a large guest room, furnished and available? Yet this is
exactly what they experienced. Surely, it strengthened their
faith when one by one, Jesus' strange instructions worked
out for them.

But was there another reason Jesus gave such cryptic
instructions? He was well aware that one of His 12 disciples
was carefully watching for an opportunity to betray Him in the
absence of the crowds. When Peter and John asked Jesus
where they were to prepare the Passover, it is the moment
Judas was waiting for. What better occasion to find Jesus
away from the crowd, in a house that can be surrounded, with
no way of escape?

If Jesus had identified the house He had in mind, Judas could
have found a way to sneak out and inform the Jewish leaders.
Then there would have been no time to eat with His disciples,
to institute Holy Communion, or to prepare Himself through
prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Each of these things is
essential, and Jesus won't permit Judas to gain that knowledge
until the time is right.

In a similar way, as Jesus guides us through life, He keeps our
enemies in check and thwarts their plans to harm us-unless it
suits His loving, divine purposes for us and for them.


Lord Jesus, we are surrounded by spiritual enemies who wish
to destroy our faith and do us eternal harm. As You watch over
us and limit what they can do, give us loving hearts to share
Your Word so that You may bring them to repentance and faith.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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