GNB 2.80

April 6, 2023


Therefore, put on the full armor of God. In so doing you will be able to stand your ground when the day of evil comes. After you have done everything you are able to in that day, you will be able to stand [before the throne of God with humble confidence.]” (Ephesians 6.13)

“Then Judas [of Kerioth], the one who would betray Jesus said, ‘Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi, do you?’ Jesus answered, ‘You have [already] said so.’” (Matthew 27.25)


I will never presume to be able to read minds, but I wonder if Paul might have had this Last Supper dialogue between Jesus and Judas in mind when he urged the Ephesian community of faith “to stand when the day of evil comes.” We all ought to view ourselves on a continuum between the past the future. Our present day, or moment, is merely a step in time moving from one end of the continuum to the other. Some of us drag our feet into the future making the day longer because it carries the burden of our past. Jesus certainly promoted a gospel to make our journey easier when He said “take My yoke upon you.” But, in context to Holy Week, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which began at sundown on Wednesday (then and now), Judas had made his stand. Did he truly believe Jesus was “evil” for lauding the gift of the woman who anointed His feet in Bethany with expensive ointment. Judas was not the only one who thought it would have been bettered purposed by selling it at market and using the money to help the poor. I wonder if they considered themselves “the poor” and hoped it would actually be given as a contribution to “the cause of Jesus.” As I said, I am not going to try and read anyone’s mind. But, what we do know is that Judas took the opportunity under the cover of darkness to strike a bargain with the High Priest and the Elders to turn Jesus over to them. Twenty-four hours later we would see what stand the other disciples would choose to take.

What am I reflecting on? The Last Supper, the Seder or Passover Feast, would be celebrated before the following night. In those hours, the believers in Jesus as the Christ (including Jesus Himself) would make their stand in the Upper Room, in the Garden of Gethsemane, in the courtyard outside of the Court of the High Priest where Jesus was tried by Caiaphas and the Elders and wherever else the disciples had scattered to when Jesus was arrested which threatened their own existence in the present moment and in their perceived future. You see, Judas had already made his stand. It was time for Jesus to, pardon me, “Put up or Shut Up!” No one will know for sure what Judas actually hoped would happen as he forced “the hand of Jesus” by turning Him over to the Jewish ruling authority. Was he so frustrated with Jesus apparent “lack of conviction” to be the people’s Messiah seeing the “alabaster jar episode” as the straw which broke the camel’s back that he gave Him up? Or did he hope that in the face of “the enemy,” or enemies, with His arrest and trial that Jesus would finally show His hand and reveal the time had come to take over Israel and beyond!

The question for us, mighty ones of God, is what stand are we going to take when we must confront the enemy when the day of evil arrives. Either we will meet it or it will meet us. It is inevitable either way. Jesus said to John in Revelation “Be hot or cold but never lukewarm.” It also means “be for or against but nothing inbetween.” That might also be sage advice for “be one or the other but don’t be just another.” There are plenty of applications within the current culture and climate to go around. You can pick one for yourself and see the conviction Jesus is commanding of us, in us and through us. What stand will we take? What stand will we make? Or will we “roll over and play dead”? We may not know “the hour or the day” when Jesus will return. We are certainly knowledgable about “the day of evil” which comes with wars, rumors of wars, nation rising up against nation, people against people, family members against family members and the like which Jesus said were merely “birth pangs” of the season of tribulation and triumph which were to come. The call to be able to stand was not merely the “reality check” of standing before the Judgment Seat in Heaven to hear whether we are “sheep or goats.” That is in our future. But, our future is also now. In many ways, our future is rapidly passing us by. So, hear what Jesus said to Judas as they sat at table in the Upper Room. Jesus had proclaimed that one of them would betray Him. They each took their turn asking “Is it I, Lord?” It came round to Judas who took his turn as well. He was just like the rest in asking. But, Jesus answered him where He hadn’t answered the rest. He said, “You have [already] said so.” Having made his commitment already, Jesus dismissed him saying “What you are about to do, go now and do quickly!” What are we going to do, mighty ones of God? And will we waste our time in getting it done? Or will we go now and do what we have been commanded to do: “put on the whole armor of God and pray in the face of the enemy so that God may be glorified, the gospel may be heard and people may accept their salvation which comes in Jesus Christ alone”?


Father, Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We are prepared and ready to meet and greet the opportunity presented daily to stand ready to rebuke the enemy and bring glory to God as did and does His Son. AMEN.

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