TOPIC: TURNING A BITTEREST ENEMY INTO A CLOSEST FRIEND.
Read John 13:21-30
MEMORISE: For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor (John 13:29).
Jesus was not only FULLY man; He was also FULLY God. As God, didn’t He know that Judas would betray Him? Yes, He did. After all, He is Omniscient. Then, why did He choose him as one of His Apostles, and Judas of all people, a man described as “a thief” (Jn. 12:6), but was still appointed the treasurer of ‘The College of the Apostles’?
When Abraham Lincoln was compaigning for the presidency of the United States of America, he had an opponent who hated him so much and personally insulted him many times, calling him derogatory names. One of such names was ‘baboon.’
Can you just imagine the level of debasement the enmity had degenerated for the opponent to have referred to Lincoln as a baboon? The ma said to Lincoln, “if you are looking for baboon, don’t go to the Zoos, just go to the white house”.
However, most surprising is the fact that when Abraham Lincoln eventually became President, he chose this opponent as his defence secretary! People condemned him for that and thought he must have been stupid, yet he wouldn’t change his mind. When he was assassinated in 1865, at his burial, this former enemy of his wept aloud and said, “This was a man who knew how to turn the bitterest enemy into a close friend!”.
Judas also, who was known by Jesus from his beginning to his end, and was given the opportunity to purge himself of the inner enmity, and embrace Jesus’ hands of friendship, felt remorse and spoke after
Jesus was condemned to death (Matt. 27:3-5), although his sorrow was not a godly one that brings the kind of repentance that leads to salvation (cf. 2 Cor. 7:10). God encourages us to extend hands of fellowship to even our enemies (Prov. 25:21,22; Rom. 12:18ff). This becomes more relevant on the occasion of this year’s International Day of Friendship.
1. Take a moment to thank Jesus for turning you to His friend even while you were still His enemy!
2. Pray for the grace that looks for what is best in people around you.
3. Pray that God should kill the spirit of suspicion among leaders and members of our churhes, so that we can live in peace, the way He wants it.
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EXTRA READING FOR TODAY: 2 Chr. 14:15 – 18-10; Acts 6:4 – 7:10.