Jun 15, 2015

Job Part 3 - Small group notes and devotion

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 26: 20-24, [ESV]

20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.

Devotion: “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Frank Capra produced that 1946 Christmas-time classic where Jimmy Stewart’s character [George Bailey] can seem to do anything right and is burdened with doubts and pressures to save his bank and the citizens. He finally says: “I wish I’d never been born”. Then his guardian angel, Clarence, says: “You mustn’t talk like that”.  George Bailey’s attitude seems to be a very depressing and desperate feeling and I hope none of us ever feels like our lives are meaningless. We don’t know, but perhaps Judas was feeing desperate and depressed because things were not going his way.  By taking matters into his own hands, he committed the most infamous betrayal in history and the bible tells us of his tragic death soon after. We don’t know why, but Judas was picked to start a chain of events that led to Jesus’ death on the cross and our eventual salvation. Since we are all human and all sinful by nature, we cannot help but betray our Savior. When we are stressed and tested, a prayer to God is a lot more productive than a self-induced “pity party”. Be aware of life’s challenges this week and respond by going to God in prayer – let’s make the evil one tremble.

Pray: Lord, You are my rock and my salvation. Amen

Blessings,
Joe

1.  Knowing yourself: Think about your past week: were you tested? If you were one of the twelve (other than Judas) what would be your reaction to the betrayal? Would this be a test of your faith? Describe your feelings about the actual good thing to which this betrayal led. How about the bad things such as Jesus’ suffering and his followers’ sorrow?
2.  Scripture: In the next two verses Judas asks “Is it I, Rabbi?” and Jesus responds “You have said so”. All of the other Apostles used “Lord” in their response but Judas used “Rabbi”. If Judas does not respond like the others it makes him look guilty, but why did he use the different title? Depending upon the translation, Jesus’ response has a range of implications. Do you think Jesus’ reply was vague enough to 1- convince the others that Judas was not the guilty party but 2-that Judas now realized Jesus was on to him? Why?
3. Application:  How does the Lord rescue us from evil and harmful things that come into our lives? [Acts 14:22, 2 Cor 12:9, Psalm 91:9-10] What final deliverance do we ask of the Lord?  [Luke 2:29-30, 2 Tim 4:18, Rev 21:4]