NT Fire Starters – Day 154: John 18:1-27
READ: John 18:1-27
THINK: Psychologists say that we all have an innate tendency to react one way or another when facing intense pressure and confrontation. It’s called the fight or flight response, and you’ll lean toward one extreme almost automatically. Neither is completely good or bad; there’s a time for both. While you should be bold in the face of challenge, you shouldn’t be combative toward others. And while there are times to turn the other cheek to avoid a fight, you must not be timid in standing for what’s right. The problem is that on your own you’ll tend to react the wrong way at the wrong time. But as Jesus’ follower, the Holy Spirit helps you overcome this misguided tendency and do what honors God in even the most extreme situations. This will be evident later, as the Holy Spirit comes and transforms Peter completely.
RESPOND: What do Jesus’ words, responses and attitudes surrounding His arrest tell you about His character and readiness for what was ahead? What did Jesus mean when He said, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”? (See 18:11 note.) How would you explain the contrast between Peter’s boldness and defiance when the soldiers came for Jesus (v. 10) and his denials of Jesus in the courtyard (vv. 15-18, 25-27)? How do you think you would have reacted in both situations? Would you have been as bold in the one and as cowardly in the other? Explain.
PRAY: Thank Jesus for willingly facing ridicule and rejection in standing up for truth and suffering for you. Ask Him to give you the boldness to also stand for truth and to never deny your faith in Him.
ACT: Do something to boldly identify with Jesus. Carry your Bible. Wear a shirt with a Christians theme. Invite people to a ministry event, or talk about spiritual issues. Do whatever you do sincerely, not just for show. Ask God for opportunities to talk about your faith and to let others know that you love Jesus and aren’t ashamed to identify with Him.