“Fire” 1 April: Luke 22.47-71

Today’s Word: “Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police and the elders who had come for him, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour and the power of darkness!’ (Luke 22.52-53).

Today we return to Luke’s theme of who is able to see what’s truly going on. Jesus has read the signal given by Judas (48) and interestingly, even his companions managed to spot that coming! (49) At the same time, it’s clear that Jesus has known all along, that those who have now ‘come for him’ had ulterior motives (53) and for now, it seems that Jesus surrenders the field to them as he declares that this is their ‘hour’. But we need to note the supreme irony in their taunting him with the word “Prophesy!” (64) as if a mere blindfold could curtail his insight into the drama that is unfolding. Alongside this, the question which Luke poses is, “How far are we willing to enter into that same drama and identify as one who is caught up in the in-breaking kingdom?” In this regard, he gives us the example of Peter, who follows Jesus ‘at a distance’, rather like Zacchaeus (54). Yes, he even ‘sat among them’ (55) for a while. But the question for every disciple is, at what point does the heat around the courtyard fire (the heat in the kitchen!) become too great? What happens when someone says: “You also are one of them” (58)?

Our Prayer for Lent is: “Lord Jesus, draw me into your friendship”.