Thursday, March 14     Luke 21:34-22:6                 Shane Mullin

34 “Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by drinking parties, drunkenness, and the anxieties of day-to-day life. Don’t let that day fall upon you unexpectedly,35 like a trap. It will come upon everyone who lives on the face of the whole earth.36  Stay alert at all times, praying that you are strong enough to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand before the Human One.”

37 Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, but he spent each night on the Mount of Olives. 38 All the people rose early in the morning to hear him in the temple area.

1 The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching. 2 The chief priests and the legal experts were looking for a way to kill Jesus, because they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve. 4 He went out and discussed with the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard how he could hand Jesus over to them. 5 They were delighted and arranged payment for him. 6 He agreed and began looking for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them—a time when the crowds would be absent.

“Squirrel!” As human beings, it’s ridiculously easy for us to become distracted. This is not only true about tasks we have to complete or in our interactions with others, but it is also true that we can be distracted from our relationship with God. The things that distract us from our relationship with God can take on many forms – sports, studies, work, hobbies, and even our family can distract us from God. It can be so easy to get caught up in all of the things that keep us busy that we forget that the most important thing we can do as followers of Jesus is to tend to our relationship with him. In today’s scripture, for Judas, that distraction takes the form of money and wealth. If we take a moment to pause and reflect, should it really surprise us that the disciple who betrays Jesus literally sells him out? That money and a desire for wealth is the thing that distracts and traps Judas Iscariot? When I think about it, it really isn’t all that surprising – it’s even fairly predictable that those who wanted Jesus dead were able to exploit a person’s desire for money and wealth to accomplish their desires. Jesus knows that we are easily distracted. He knows that we can focus upon the wrong things and remaining faithful to our relationship with him requires strength and resolve – especially amidst the things of day-to-day life. Because this is true, may we strive to be a community that not only pursues faithfulness to God in the “big things,” but also challenges one another to remain faithful in our day-to-day lives.

Pray today for the strength to pursue faithfulness to God.