NT Fire Starters – Day 118: Luke 22:66-23:25
READ: Luke 22:66–23:25
THINK: How are you at handling peer pressure? Do you typically do what you know is right, regardless of others’ actions and opinions? Or do you take the path of least resistance, going against your better judgment to do what’s more popular or convenient? Jesus’ road to the cross was paved by people who didn’t have the backbone to stand up for what’s right. They were more concerned with protecting their own positions than with upholding justice. As a result, the One who was morally strong and completely right–Jesus–suffered at the hands of those who were morally weak and completely wrong. Ironically, He didn’t just suffer because of them, He suffered for them. In fact, He willingly gave His life for us all, bearing the weight of our sin, which was more pressure than any of us could have handled.
RESPOND: Why do you think the religious leaders could not accept Jesus as God’s Son, especially after all they had seen and heard from Him? Were their accusations true? Why or why not? Who was Pilate and what can we tell about his character from this passage? (See 23:1 note.) Who was Herod, and what was his motive for wanting to see Jesus? (See 23:8-11 note.) Why do you think Jesus refused to speak to Herod? Why did Herod ridicule Jesus after being so anxious to see Him before? Why do you think Herod and Pilate became friends on that particular day surrounding the events with Jesus? What was the basis of the charges against Jesus, and how did these relate to His real purpose? (See 23:14 note.) Why did Pilate eventually give in to the crowd and turn Jesus over for execution? (See 25:23 note.)
PRAY: Pray for wisdom to recognize the best course of action in any given situation. Ask God to give you strength to resist pressure from others who would push you to go against what He wants and what you know is best.
ACT: Think of situations in which you are currently facing pressure to do the wrong thing. Make a deliberate choice either to remove yourself from those situations or to once and for all make the right choice despite the pressure. Depend on God for strength to take a stand and for the words to say if any of these situations requires a verbal response to people. Trust that God can turn these situations into opportunities to influence others for Christ.