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By Rev. Wayne Palmer

Lenten Devotion

(Jesus said) "But behold, the hand of him who betrays Me is
with Me on the table" (Luke 22:21).

Read Matthew 26:20-25.

From the beginning Jesus knew Judas would choose to betray
Him. For long months He has tried to break through the
betrayer's selfish greed, speaking of the dangers of the
overpowering love of money, and teaching the need to seek
first the kingdom of heaven.

But Judas' love for money has been too strong; Jesus' words
have fallen on deaf ears.

So Jesus chooses this very moment, while He sits in the upper
room surrounded by faithful disciples, to reveal His knowledge.
He chooses words which strike hard at Judas' conscience.
They are stark and chilling because they are so intensely
personal: at the very table where Jesus dined was His betrayer.
And even more He says, "His hand is with Me on the table."

Jesus appeals to this friendship even while exposing the hideous
nature of this act. Perhaps the shock of the moment will break
 through and stir Judas to repentance and faith. After all, he has
shared Jesus' food, His ministry, His prayers, and His confession
of faith. How can he be plotting to commit this-the greatest of

It is shocking that this man who had spent so much time eating,
drinking, travelling and sleeping with Jesus could turn against
Him so completely-and for such a small price. Even more
shocking is the fact that Judas is unmoved by Jesus' words.
Absorbed in his own selfish greed, he continues in his reckless

How often do we ignore Jesus' loving warnings and follow our
own twisted, self-destructive desires?


Lord Jesus, when I travel along paths of disobedience and
defiance, turn my heart to repentance and faith that I may return
and glorify You, rather than follow Satan's road to eternal
destruction. Amen.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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