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Look in the mirror, boys and girls!


John 13:21-33, 36-38

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples–the one whom Jesus loved–was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.

As leaders in the church we sometimes need to put on a certain facade to sustain our image.  I mean, really, aren’t there many times when we step out hoping that the people won’t know what is REALLY going on in our hearts and minds.  If they knew, would they still follow us?  If they knew, would we still find us credible (or even respectable?)

Especially during Holy Week, we can be stretched thin by the rigors of public and personal spiritual practices.  It is not unusual for rostered leaders to experience depletion and some degree of anxious confusion during this week.  We might be tempted to run nonstop from one holy and precious day to the next.  It is critical that we spend more time resting “in” Christ rather than less.

Jesus knew everything there was to know about the disciples. He knew about questions, fears, passions, frustrations, illnesses, grief. He also recognized character strengths and potential, weaknesses, and temptations. He knew the disciples more intimately than they knew themselves. He knew what they were capable of doing (good or bad). Before a word was spoken or a deed committed, he knew of its unfolding.

Regardless of what Jesus knew about or saw in each individual, his primary response to them was to love them unconditionally, empower them to do what he called them to do, and forgive them for all their sinful actions.

I am one of Jesus disciples. So are you. He knows you and me with that same totality, even now, on this Tuesday of Holy Week, 2012. We are unmasked.

Perhaps it is a good idea to begin each day during this Holy Week by looking in the mirror.  Before we “put on” the image or role required by our ministry to others remember to “put on” Christ.   Rest in gratitude that He knows more about what you are going through than you do and loves you just as you are (maybe in spite of how you are.

You will be empowered to serve others in His Name this week because of His love.


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