Imagine a basketball game. It’s almost the end of overtime; it’s time for one last shot. Who do you want to have the ball? You want the calmest and best player out there. Or imagine the security of the nation is threatened. Threat levels have gone through the roof, and an attack is imminent. Who do you want to have the nuclear codes? Who do you want making the final call on what to do or not to do? You want someone who is calm under pressure. Or here’s one more example. Imagine you need a crucial surgery to save your life or the life of a loved one. Who do you want behind that scalpel? Who do you want performing the surgery? Of course you want the best doctor available.
Few of us have our life under control. There are too many things that are not going the way we want them. People problems, personal issues, and surrounding events are not going our way. What do we do?
The Gospels present Jesus as He faced the cross – under extreme pressure – pressure that we will never even fathom. And at every stage, Jesus is calm and in control. In the middle of the night, Jesus faced three challenging situations. But He controlled each one. We must give Jesus control of every part of our life. What does Jesus control?
And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? (Luke 22:47-48)
Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. All 4 gospel writers talk about the betrayal by Judas. But only Luke tells us that Jesus asked, “Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” A kiss is a token of love, but Judas used it to identify Him for His arrest. Jesus knew from the beginning who would betray Him and allowed it to happen. But Jesus was still in control.
Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is the world’s busiest airport measured by aircraft movements (landings and takeoffs of planes). In 2014, movements averaged 2,416 per day (101 per hour or 1.7 per minute). It’s no wonder the job of flight controllers is so stressful. Imagine the chaos that would result if there were no one to direct that traffic. Now imagine the world as an airport and every individual as an airplane, coming and going as we please, and God as the single flight controller keeping track of our movements for all of human history. While the chaos in the world may suggest God has lost control, He hasn’t. God is working “all things according to the counsel of His will.”
If Jesus controls people, do we not have some control of our life? Yes. But Jesus has ultimate control of all decisions. Proverbs 21:1, ‘The kings’ heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.’
Don’t try to control others. Give them to Jesus.
When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him. (Luke 22:49-51)
The question, “Shall we smite?”, was not really a question because before Jesus could answer, out came Peter’s sword, and with poor aim but great determination he wahacked off the right ear of one of the high priest’s servants. Lucky for the man that Peter’s sport was fishing. Jesus immediately healed him.
In June, 11-year-old Roxli Doss was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that doctors feared would take her life. But just a few months later, it completely disappeared, leaving the Texas girl’s medical team baffled. There was no cure for her type of tumor, but she went through weeks of radiation to try to combat the tumor. The director of neurosurgical oncology said it’s very uncommon for this type of tumor to disappear so quickly, and equally uncommon for absolutely no trace of the tumor to be seen on an MRI scan. Her parents said this was the miracle they prayed for.
Why did Jesus do this? He practiced what He preached – mercy. It was unasked, undeserved and performed for one who had no faith and didn’t say ‘thank you.’ It is the last public miracle Christ performed and He performed it on an enemy.
Pray for healing, if it is God’s will, they will be healed. If they are not healed, it’s still God’s will.
Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. (Luke 22:52-53)
This would be an arrest by religious leaders, not by Roman soldiers under Roman law. Jesus rebuked the crowd for treating him as a dangerous criminal. A ‘band’ (John 18:3) is speiran (Gk) and means 1/10 of a legion – 600 men. This was overkill. But a comparison of all Gospel accounts reiterates that Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be arrested. He was control even over His own arrest.
In 2012 a recent immigrant to the U.S. from Ghana was working part-time at Walmart. As he collected shopping carts, he spotted a white envelope bulging with cash – $20,000. He could have used it making only $9.05 an hour. But he turned it in and a woman picked it up. It was a down-payment for her house. He said, “In the parking lot, people chat, tell you their problems, you see that a person is not happy. I tell them, ‘God is in control. Everything is OK.’”
We find three responses to this bad event: Judas was pretending. Peter was fighting. Jesus was yielding to God’s control. We must choose to yield to God’s control.
When I was a kid I watched the Batman tv show with Adam West. At the end of the show, there was always some kind of dilemma. Maybe it was Robin in a head vice by Riddler, or the ‘caped crusaders’ frozen by Mr. Freeze, or they were tied to a railroad track, or Batman attacked by a tiger sent from Catwoman. Regardless of the crisis, you had to turn in the next day.. same bat time, same bat channel. But when we tuned in the next day, everything was okay. Batman had it all under control.
We may be worried about how our life is going. But don’t worry. Jesus has it all under control.