What if You Had One Week… What Would your Attitude be?


The bell is ringing! It\’s time for class – Life Class!

I am teaming up with Rev. Jim Wood, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, to co-lead a \”Life Class\” during Lent. The First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk\’s theme for the season is \”What if You Had One Week?\”.
Rev. Jim and I will co-lead a study that focuses on the last week of Jesus\’ earthly ministry, exploring the question: If it were your last week, what would you do?  We have several topics for each week to correlate with Biblical passages from the last week, leading up to the Crucifixion.
This week, we are looking at Matthew 26:36–68, exploring Jesus\’ attitude during his last week before Crucifixion. Jesus has just left His \”Last Supper\” with his disciples. Peter flattered Jesus and promised, \”Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!\” And all the other disciples consented with Peter. After all Peter got it right in Caesarea Philippi. He was the first to confess that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God (Matt 16:13-16). But, Jesus\’ disciples had no idea of the the depths of what was about to do down! They grew tired and weary after eating a hearty Passover meal. It was time for a nap!
Jesus, knowing that the night was going to be long and hard, needed to spend time praying. So, Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane and prays. Just before he goes, he just needs his friends to look out for him and pray.
Jesus returned three times to finds his disciples, his friends asleep!
Have you ever been so stressed that you can\’t sleep? You need somebody to just make the sacrifice to help you pray through, or to talk with you? But, the very people who promised you that they would be there for you, are gone? Would\’t you feel some sort of way about that? After all, you have been there for them more than they can count? Jesus was there for Peter\’s wife\’s mother. He knows who Jesus is! He knows him as a healer and as the Messiah! The other disciples have always been there also. They saw the miracles and the compassion that Jesus had on others. This one time that Jesus needs them, they are sleeping!
It it were me, I would be so upset! That would push my character to the nth degree!
But, I notice in the text that Jesus continues to have compassion. He seems a bit disappointed and even a bit frustrated. In expressing his disappointment and frustration, Jesus affirms human emotions. Yet, Jesus gathers his friends and takes them to the next episode of his destiny – Judas, the betrayer!
Eleven of Jesus\’ friends have been sleeping when he needed them. Now, one of the twelve is betraying him to be killed! Wow!
Jesus suffers so much that night and he only has God, the Father to turn to. Have you ever felt that you have no one or no where to turn to but God? All of the good that you have done, where are all of the beneficiaries now?
The Roman soldiers were so mean to Jesus. They slapped him, pushed him and mocked him.
The final thing that strikes me is that Jesus, the almighty one, Messiah, did not fight back. He did not pray for fire to fall down on them. Jesus was nonviolent in the face of horrific violence during his last week.
Can you keep your attitude in check this week? Sometimes and in some situations, it seems justifiable that even the most devout Christian should fight back with physical force or even with an attitude of retaliation. However, Jesus is chief exemplar of the message that Martin Luther King, Jr. sums up in these words, \”Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.\”
What is your attitude like?
We need Jesus to help us to possess the attitude that he possessed during his most difficult time.
Dr. Antipas L. Harris
Welcome to my blog

This blog site is where I share matters related to society, the church, and the academy. I hope my thoughts are meaningful to you. Theology

Read More »