DBC May 23
THE JIST – Senseless Death
Just because Abishai could run like a gazelle, he decided to pursue Abner the great warrior. But he apparently had no strategy on how to take him down. Though Abner, in the mist of the pursuit, tried to dissuade him from following — knowing that the young man could not overcome him –, Abishai insisted, and paid for it with his life. His death was senseless, in that there was little purpose in pursuing Abner alone when he had no means of winning over him. In fact, his death served further to exacerbate the conflict between the supporters of Saul and those of David.
Jesus’ death, on the other, was meaningful.
Satan’s actions in Jn 13:2 are surrounded by two statements about what Jesus knew (v. 1, 3). He was not caught unawares. Behind his death was the great plan of God’s salvation. He was fully aware and participated completely with his Father in this plan. His actions show not only forethought, but the very essence of what his life and ministry were about. It was not only time for supper, but time for Jesus’ work to come to fruition in giving his life and leaving this world. Satan prompted and tempted Judas, while the Father had given him authority over all things. Because Jesus knew who he was, he could wash his disciples’ feet without hesitation.
David’s mourning of Abner’s death pleased the people greatly (2Sm 2:36). The writer says they were pleased with everything he did. Perhaps this was the Lord’s doing, to usher David in as king over Israel. But perhaps it showed a lack of critical thinking and a tendency to be enamored with the latest hero.
When Jesus washes his disciples’ feet, they don’t understand (Jn 13:7). Peter, in his perplexity, goes so far as to refuse his Master’s action. And when he announces the betrayal, they wondered who it could be (v. 22). His death in itself was a puzzlement, for it had no part in their vision of Messiahship. His service clashed with their concept of greatness.
Judas was treasurer for Jesus and his disciples. A number of women contributed to it and supported the Lord in his itinerant preaching ministry (Lc 8:1-4). Out of it, Judas disembursed funds, apparently, to buy food for the group or to help the poor (Jn 13:29).
The church follows Jesus’ example. It collects the offerings of the saints on the first day into a treasury (1Co 16:1-4), so that when needs arise, they may be prepared to meet them rather than haphazardly gathering monies at the last minute.
True joy and genuine thanks comes from obeying God’s commands (Ps 119:1-8).
Lord, you give meaning to all that happens in this world. Even in the events that make no sense, you bring forth good and make your will come about. Help me to be thoughtful about my words and actions and giving them great meaning by inserting them within your plan for mankind. Amen.