Offering prayer

Jesus, thank you for giving us your gift, life, time and talent to serve you.
Thank you for saving us and helping us to proclaim you and your everlasting words.
May you work miracles in us so that we may be a channel of your love and your blessings.
May your wondrous love and your grace be experienced and known throughout the earth forever.
Then after all is done, may all the glory and praise and honor go to your name, because every blessing comes from you.
In your name, we pray.

Opening Prayer

Jesus, you have given us the desire to come you.
You help us to trust in you.
You help us to welcome you into our hearts.
You pour out your Holy Spirit within us.
You have brought our soul back to life.
You have become our joy.
May you help us to worship you and do what you would have us do.
In Jesus name, amen.


Mark 8:27-38 (4)


Who can share the story of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit
Reading: Mark 8:27-38 (4)
Blanks: what about you, suffer, rise, God, deny, save, words

(1) Again how many gospels are in the Bible?
Right, today, we are going to have another look at the gospel of Mark.

In this gospel, Jesus performed many miracles.
But after many miracles, Jesus said something strange.

(3) For example, after curing this person from skin disease, Jesus said: (Mark 1:43–45)
“Don’t tell anyone.
Instead, go and show yourself to the priest.
Offer what Moses commanded for you so that they may know that this healing has occurred.”

(3) Then after raising a girl from the death, Jesus said to them: (Mark 5:43)
“No one should know about this!
OK? Now give her something to eat.”

(2) Then after curing a man so that he could speak and hear, Jesus said: (Mark 7:36)
“Don’t tell anyone.”

But the more Jesus said like that, the more they talked about his miracles.

(2) So then, after curing another man to see, Jesus was like: (Mark 8:26)
“Go straight to your home
Don’t even enter the village, because then you are going to talk about this.”
You know, Jesus didn’t want them to talk about this.

(3) It was the same when Jesus cast out demons.
Jesus would not allow the demons to speak about him.
Some evil spirits and some bad spirits knew about Jesus. (Mark 1:34)
So they wanted to talk about.

For example, one time, the evil spirits said to Jesus: Mark 3:12
“You are the Son of God.”
Then Jesus ordered them not to make him known.
Then he cast out the evil spirits.

(3) Then Jesus said something strange to his students.
He said something like this: (Mark 4:10-13, Mark 4:11)
“You need to know who I am.
I am explaining to you about me.
But to other people, it is a secret.
They are not supposed to know.
To them who I am is a secret at the moment.
I don’t want them to know who I am.
So, when I speak to everyone, I tell stories, so that they may hear but not understand.”

(3) Then, Jesus taught them in private: Mark 4.34; 7.17-23; 9.28.
Jesus explained to them the meaning of the various stories he told everyone.
Jesus tried to help his students understand the meaning of those stories.
Then, Jesus tried to help his students understand who he is.

His students understood what Jesus was doing.
So, next time when they have questions, they asked Jesus in private: Mark 13:3.
Then slowly, slowly his students understood who Jesus is.

(3) Then, Jesus asked them something like this: Mark 8:29–30:
“Now who do you say that I am?
Who am I?”

Peter answered:
“You are the Christ.”
Then Jesus was like:
“You are right.
But don’t tell anyone that I am the Christ.”

(3) Then Jesus continually proved that he is the Christ.
One time Jesus brought three students to the top of a mountain.
Then he was transformed before them.
Jesus was shining.
And in this way, he showed them about his heavenly identity.
But after this, again Jesus said:
“Don’t tell anyone about this, until I am risen from the dead.” (Mark 9:9)

Then many times Jesus told them about how he would die in Jerusalem: Mark 8.31; 9.31; 10.32-34.

(3) Now why do you think that Jesus asked people not to tell anyone?
Why did Jesus want only his students to know about him at this moment?
Why didn’t Jesus allow his students to tell anyone that Jesus is the Christ?

Well, Jesus didn't want to be famous too fast.
Instead, Jesus wanted to be known in a right way.
So, Jesus wanted to control who could talk about him, because as for him, who was talking about him was important.
So, Jesus was preparing his students to talk about him in a right way.

That is why Jesus asked people not talk about his miracles, because they didn’t know who Jesus is.
(3) That means, those who were healed didn’t know who Jesus is.
At that moment, those who came to hear him, didn’t understand.
Those who read the Bible, didn’t understand.
Even when the disciples said “Jesus, you are the Christ,” they didn’t really know what that meant.
They didn’t really understand who the Christ was.
So, Jesus said:
“Don’t tell anyone that I’m the Christ yet.
Because you may not represent me in a right way.”

(3) Then the disciples of Jesus might have wondered:
Then who can talk about Jesus in a right way?
Who can represent Jesus in a right way?
Who can really use his life to benefit others?

Jesus might have asked the same thing:
“Who can speak about me?
Who can talk about me?

Well, Jesus understood that everything should be done by God.
God’s work is to be done by God.

Jesus is God.
So Jesus came and became a man to do God’s ministry.
He came to save people from their sins and make them live forever.

(3) After that, Jesus wanted to wait for the Holy Spirit to come and help his students talk about him, because Jesus wanted the Holy Spirit to talk about his life.
Jesus wanted the Holy Spirit to talk about who he is.
Jesus wanted the Holy Spirit to speak through his students.
And if his students allow the Holy Spirit to speak through them, they can talk about who Jesus is.

So, still today, Jesus wants those who have the Holy Spirit to talk about him.
Jesus wants us to experience God’s love in the power of the Holy Spirit, first.
Then we may be able to know who Jesus is.
Then we may understand Jesus.
Then the Holy Spirit may speak through us, so that Jesus is known in a right way.

Then people will understand God's love.
People may notice the working of the Holy Spirit.
People may notice that the Holy Spirit is speaking through us.
Then People may experience the Holy Spirit and understand Jesus.

So, we pray that the Holy Spirit may empower us and work among us and through us so that we may be able to talk about Jesus in a right way.
Then we may share the story of Jesus in God’s way.
It is possible.
So, let’s pray that the Holy Spirit may work among us and do a wonderful ministry.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, may you live your life through us.
May we know who you are, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, work in us so that we may tell your people about who Jesus is.
In Jesus name, we pray.


Matthew 19: 13-30 (2)


The way of Jesus Christ (first become last, last become first)
Loving Jesus more than anything (first become last, last become first)
Reading: Matthew 19: 13-30

When people came to listen to Jesus more and more, Jesus might have this kind of problems.
Let’s see whether we can catch that.
Let’s first watch:

(3) Can you understand this?
As the movement of Jesus became popular, more and more people came to listen to Jesus.
There were already some disciples who had joined the movement of Jesus.
But still new people came to listen to Jesus.
Then Jesus tried to help them understood the truth.
Then they were also changed to live a new life.
But these people had relationship problems.
They had some people that they didn’t wish to come to Jesus.

But then they came.
They came to listen to Jesus.
They came to explore the movement of Jesus.
But these new people were those whom they were not associating with. hey didn’t want to hang out with them.
They thought that the other people should not join their movement.
If they could decide who could join his movement, they wouldn’t choose them.
But Jesus knew the better.
Jesus wanted to welcome all.

Then Jesus decided who could join his movement.
Those who were changed listening to his words could join his movement.
Like this Jesus continually invited all people to his movement.
Everyone could come and learn about God.
And then they could decide whether they would want to join him or not.

To help them understand, Jesus told many stories about the lost coin, and the lost son, to tell that Jesus rather wanted to leave them to find the lost.
That was why God sent Jesus into the world.
What does it mean to them?
They need to welcome each other.
If they wanted to be part of his movement, they needed to open their arms.
They needed to help people to realize the worth of Jesus.
They should help people to listen to Jesus’ teaching, and learn.

Knowing all these intuitively, children ran to Jesus.
They knew that Jesus accepted them.
They would not understand many of his teachings.
But they knew one thing that Jesus would welcome them.
Jesus would enjoy having a good time with them.
Jesus was right there in their level having fun.
Jesus was also having so much joy because of them.
So those who know Jesus love to welcome them, because his movement are for them.

In the church, this is what Jesus wants people to experience.
Jesus welcomes every child.
Jesus wants every people to know that God is welcoming them.
God is welcoming you.

So, Jesus is here to welcome everyone who comes.
People come and have a chance to listen to him and experience him.
Then they understand God’s heart.
They understand the worth of Jesus.
They understand God’s movement and be part of his movement.

Welcoming everyone may not be easy, because of those who already know Jesus and wouldn’t want to share with other people.
Welcome people, just like God welcomes everyone is not easy.

But Jesus tries to welcome all God's people.
Jesus tries to welcome the poor.
Jesus tries to welcome those who have baggage: wounds and hurts.
Jesus tries to work it out.

Though some people didn’t like Jesus, they understood that Jesus welcome them.
At least they knew that Jesus wanted to welcome everyone and gave a chance to learn about the way of life.
Some of them wouldn’t be able to come to Jesus, unless Jesus extended his hand.
Those who follow Jesus must do that same in terms of welcoming everyone.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help me to welcome everyone into your church.
In your name we pray.


John 6:51-58 (4)


How may Jesus lead us?
Reading: John 6:51-58 (4)
Blanks: flesh, life, blood, life, drink, live

(1) Today we are going to think about this:
If we believe in Jesus, how would Jesus lead our life?
If we welcome Jesus into our heart, how would Jesus is going to guide us?
So let’s think about how Jesus may lead us in the power of the Holy Spirit.

(4) Jesus may lead us through these 7 steps.
(3) First, in order to lead us, Jesus may give us a chance to learn about him.
Jesus may give us time to meditate on what he said, examine his life so that we can get to know what Jesus is like.
So, we will have a time to study about him and understand his words.

Jesus may also send some people through whom we can get to know Jesus.
Jesus may give you chances to study the story of Jesus with them.
Then as you pray together and study together in his name, you will get to know Jesus.

Like this, Jesus gives us time to get to know him.
Then if we know Jesus, we may understand how Jesus may speak to us.
Then, it will be easier for Jesus to lead us and guide us.

(3) Then for our second step, Jesus may ask us to practice what we have learned.
Because when we practice, we understand Jesus much better.
When we try to practice, we learn more of who Jesus is.
When we try to obey what he said, we often experience him in our life.

(4) Then for our third step, Jesus may ask you to share the story of Jesus.
Those who share the story of Jesus, will learn new lessons from God.
Those who share will learn new things and experience more of Jesus.
Those who share, will learn more of how to practice what Jesus said.
Those who share, will learn how to work with Jesus.

When we share, we will learn what we are lacking spiritually.
When we share, we may learn what we need to learn more about.
Then Jesus may help us to grow learning those things, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

(3) So, our mission statement is:
“Share the story of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
May God help us grow and accomplish this goal.
We pray that Jesus may accomplish this goal through us.

(2) For our fourth step, Jesus may invite you to pray.
Because when we pray, we experience God.
When we try to pray, Jesus and the Holy Spirit pray through us.
In this way we meet God in our prayer.

(3) Prayer is not only talking to God but also listening to God.
When you pray, God may speak to you.
So, prayer is also listening.
When we pray, we try to listen to God.
Jesus may speak to you.
Jesus may give you new ideas.
Jesus may tell you what he wants for you.
When you pray, you may experience God in a new way.

(3) But sometimes, God calls some people to pray really seriously.
God may call some people to serve God through their prayer.
God asks them to give their life by praying for God and praying for people.
Before God does anything, God wants be in agreement with these people,
Then God works through their prayer.
So, for these kinds of people, prayer is their calling.

If you are this kind of person, you will experience a lot of things through your prayer.
You will sense that the Holy Spirit encourages you to pray.
Then you will experience God’s power.
You will also get to know Jesus better, because you experience him in your prayer.
Then when you worship Jesus and lift up the name of jesus, you will sense Jesus living in you.
You will experience Jesus who is in your midst.
So, as you pray you will also become spiritually healthy.

(4) Then for our fifth step, Jesus may help you know who you are in God.
You may discover your gifts and your calling.
You may realize what you need to do for God.

Since you need to know your gift and calling, Jesus may invite you to watch how other people, who had the same gift and calling, serve God.

Then, later, you may be able to answer to these questions:
(3) Who am I in Jesus?
What does Jesus ask me to do?
What is my gift?
What is my calling?
What does the story of Jesus mean to me?
How am I supposed to serve God in the power of the Holy Spirit?

When you know this, it will be easier for Jesus to help you serve God.

(2) For our sixth step, Jesus may help you to serve God sacrificially.
Jesus may encourage you saying:
(3) “Take up your cross.
Come and die with me.
Serve God patiently and humbly.
Be ready to suffer for the truth.”

The Bible talks about the suffering of Jesus.
Then, God encourages us to live or die in Jesus name.
We can only live like that when God helps us to understand and when the Holy Spirit empowers us to become one with Jesus.
Then, we can live like that.

(3) For our seventh step, God may ask you to focus on Jesus, because sometimes, some people try to serve Jesus, but end up serving other things instead of Jesus, because they are deceived.
There are many other things that seek our attention.
There are many other good things that seek our attention.
But the good things are the enemy of the best thing.
We don’t want to choose good things when you can choose the best thing.

So, God asks us to just focus on Jesus, because Jesus is the best.
God asks us to focus on Jesus, because Jesus is the answer.
Then, when we focus on Jesus, everything else falls into its right place.

So, God wants us to think about Jesus and learn more of Jesus.
God wants us to continually focus on Jesus.
Actually God helps us look steadily at Jesus.

(3) God may lead us through these steps so that we may get to know Jesus and find our calling and serve the living God in the power of the Holy Spirit.

If we learn of Jesus in this way, when we see Jesus in heaven, we will be not surprised.
But if we don’t learn of Jesus, we may be surprised because we might not have known who Jesus really is.
If we understand Jesus right, we will not be surprised.
So, we pray that we will get to know who Jesus really is.

God will also help us if we allow God to work in us, through us and among us.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to focus on you.
Redeem our life if we haven’t focused on you enough.
May we live our life focusing on you from now on.
Help us to grow and be spiritually healthy in you.
Give us the power of the Holy Spirit so that we may live your life on earth.
We pray this in Jesus name.

When we have a chance to watch Jesus film, we may learn a bit more.
You just watch who Jesus is.

God creates us to eat and have energy, because we need to eat Jesus.
God gives us life so that we may have eternal life.


Leviticus 16: 5-10, 20-22


Jesus the Scapegoat
Reading: Leviticus 16: 5-10, 20-22
Additional readings: John 1:29-42, Isaiah 53: 1-12
Blanks: goats, scapegoat, lay, confess

(3) Have you heard about the term scapegoat?
Let’s think about this word because it explains about the life of Jesus.

Many, many years ago in Israel, people had an annual ceremony.
(3) It is called the Day of Atonement.
We may call it the day of reconciliation, because in this day, they were supposed to be reconciled to God.

(3) On this day, as a nation they came to God and said:
“God, we are sorry for our sins.
We apologize for the way we treat each other.”
(3) Then they offered some animals to God, because they have sinned against God.
If they have not sinned, they wouldn’t need to offer these animals to God.
But, because they have sinned, some animals were killed instead of them.

(1) For example, on this day, a goat was chosen as the scapegoat.
Then the high priest, the religious leader, presented the goat before God.
(3) Then the high priest laid both hands on the head of the goat.
Then the priest confessed all the wickedness and rebellion of their nation, all their sins, and put them on the goat’s head.
In this way they thought that somehow the sins of the community was transferred to the goat.

(3) Then this goat was sent into the wilderness as a scapegoat.
This goat once belonged to the community: the human community.
But because of the sin of the community, it was sent to the desert.
Because of the faults of the community, this goat was excommunicated and separated.
Then the goat carried all their sins and wandered in the desert.
The goat took suffered alone.
(3) Then the people thought the human community was amended to move forward.
They thought that they were forgiven and became friends with God again.

(3) This is how the Bible explained about the ministry of Jesus.
Jesus was the scapegoat.
(3) The world has committed sins.
All the families, organizations, and nations committed sin.
So, because they didn’t love each other as they should, they needed a scapegoat.
The world needed the scapegoat.
God also wanted to amend their lives and help them move forward.
(2) So, Jesus took all their sin, guilt, blame, anxiety and dysfunction.
(3) Then he went to the desert: to his tomb.
If people didn’t sin, he didn’t need to go there and excommunicated like that.
But to remove all their sins, Jesus became their perfect scapegoat.

Jesus is our scapegoat, too.
So, we don’t need to offer any other goats to God, because Jesus solved our problem of sin once for all.

(3) Now then when Jesus calls us to follow him, what does that mean?
Jesus was the Scapegoat who takes away the sins of the world.
When this Jesus calls us to follow him, what does that mean?

Maybe Jesus is saying something like this:
(3) “This world is sinful.
The world made a lot of mistakes.
Someone needs to do something about their sins.
Someone needs to carry their burden of sins.
Someone needs to remove their sins.
Someone needs to serve them.
So, I was their scapegoat.
But now, I want you to be a scapegoat like me, too.
So, come and die with me.
Give your life to God.
Be a servant of all.
Then the world can move forward according to God’s plan.”

(3) Maybe that is why Jesus says that you are the salt of the world.
The salt is to be useful.
The salt preserves foods.
The salt makes your food tasty.
Jesus empowers you to be the salt of the world.
So, you can make the world tasty.
You can preserve the world.

(3) Maybe that is why Jesus says that you are the light of the world.
(3) And Jesus empowers you to shine God’s light.
The world needs God’s light so that they can see in darkness.
Then they may realize their faults and repent.
Then they may change for the better.

But this may not be an easy job.
But somebody needs to do those.
(3) That is why Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit so that we can not only move forward but also change the world.
So, Jesus gives us God’s power to make the world purer.
So, when we focus on Jesus, when we think about Jesus, we can make the world purer and make it move forward.
So, let’s live our life thinking of Jesus today.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to follow you.
Help us to make the world purer and move forward according to your good plan.
In your name, we pray.


Pastoral Prayer 9

Jesus, thank you for your love for us.
You have been loving us even when we didn’t know you or worship you.
But you search and found us.
Then you help us to grow in you.
Just like that we pray that you will guide people of Turkey.
Help them understand you, and welcome your love.
Also help our mission team to be part of your mission in that land.

Also help the missionary there to remain in you just like you remain in them.
Use them to accomplish your hope in that land.
As they serve you, may they experience you and your love for this world.
Thank you for inviting us to be part of your wonderful mission for the world.

God, even though you created this complicate heaven and earth, you make sure that the truth is simple and can be easily taught.
You don’t want to overwhelm us with the complication of the truth.
But when we come to you like children, you welcome us and help us understand you.

Jesus, continually help us to understand you and your hope.
Help us to live your life on earth.
Help us have your good thoughts in our mind, so that we may follow you.
Fill our heart with the Holy Spirit so that we may humble follow your words of faith.

Thank you for giving us your faith.
Thank you for giving us your presence.
Thank you for giving us the grace to live knowing your power.
Thank you for sending us the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for loving us.
Thank you that through the Holy Spirit you lead us.
Thank you for using our life according to your wonderful plan.

Thank you for using this church.
Thank you for using our church school.
Thank you for using our family.
Thank you for using our workplaces.
Thank you for using our school.
Thank you, our Loving God.

Continually work in us and among us so that we can follow you.
Change our heart so that we may want what you want.
Cause we are nothing without you.
Be our God, our savior, our Lord and sustainer and comforter.
You are our everything.
You are our energy.
You are our breath and life.
Help us to live your life and give all the glory to you.

We pray this in Jesus name.


Matthew 13:44-46 (2)


Use what God gives (God is near)
Reading: Matt 13: 44-46

Let me tell you a short story.
This is not a true story.
Once upon a time, there was a man who was happy about his life.
He owned good acres of land.
He liked to walk and rest in his land.
He was living comfortably doing what he loved.
He was rich and lived a happy life.

(1) But one day he heard about some rich fund managers in the city.
These fund managers became so rich that their children lived like kings and queens.
When he heard about this, he couldn’t sleep at night.
He wanted to be like them.

So, he asked people about how to become a fund manager.
(3) Then he left his comfortable home and his land and went to a big city to become a fund manager.
He worked hard to become a fund manager.
But then not having much work experience and having problem in finding a job, he ended up losing all his money.
(3) Then disappointed, he came home.

(3) Then a few years later, he found some nice looking stones in his land.
(4) So, he put some of them in his house.
A friend came to his house and saw these stones.
He said these stones were diamonds.

(2) It turned out his land had a lot of diamonds in it.
Selling those diamonds, he could become much richer than fund managers that he wanted to become.

What does this story tell us?
People tend to think happiness is over there.
It is out there, somewhere else, not here.
Other people seem to have all the good things.
With this kind of mindset, it is very difficult to find happiness, because happiness will be always out there.

But if we think that happiness is right here, we can find happiness.
There is no reason we cannot find happiness right here.
God is with us.
God is giving us wonderful ideas.
God is interested in making our life interesting.
God has various ideas.
God wants to give God’s ideas to us.

So, God may be asking us to think and pray, because if we can sit and think, we may be able to find God’s gifts and treasures.
We may find our treasures in our thoughts.
When we sit and think, God can help us think and find our own treasures and happiness.
When we think, we can recognize God’s ideas and make use of it.

When God is trying to work in our life, God may send us some great dreams.
When we have some dreams, we may be able to plan ahead.
Then we may have some good opportunities.
Then we may also find our treasures.

So, when you think with God, you may find what you really want to do and what you can do with your life.
When you think with God, you find what you are made for.
When we think with God, we find the will of God for us.
Then we may also realize why God’s greatest treasure is Jesus Christ himself.

(3) But here is something to think about.
Sometimes, God has God’s own way of communicating with us.
Sometimes, God may insist using God’s own method to communicate with us.
God may provide some circumstances and send signals until we realize God’s way of communicating.
God may persist using this method through time.
God may persist even when we may not recognize it at all.
God may persist even though you may not recognize it for a long time.
God persists knowing that one day you will understand.
God persists believing that one day you will get it.
Then one day you will have a wonderful and beautiful realization about yourself and your God.
Then you may know how God lives in you.
You may know how God works.
You may know how God answers your questions.

God persists because God believes in God’s own plan.
God persists because God wishes that we learn God’s way and find God’s way of communicating.
When we get to know it, we become honest with ourselves and with God.
When we get to know it, we may understand God’s plan for our lives.

(3) God was like that when God planned out the life of Jesus in detail.
His life was not an overnight product of God.
After planning it out, God explained to people for thousands of years.
God still tried to help people understand.

Then Jesus accomplished what God has spoken to people.
Jesus worked hard for it.
Jesus traveled a lot and suffered for it.

(3) Then Jesus died for God based on God' will.
Jesus also died for us believing that people would accept God’s plan and live fully.

Then God raised him up to give us his perfect life as our treasure.
Through him God saves us from the death so that we may live.
Through him, God gives what we need today.
The story of Jesus is the treasure to be found.
Jesus is God’s awesome treasure.

(3) Now this Jesus is in you.
Jesus is already available to you.
Now if you have found Jesus to be the most important treasure, you may need to find what you can do about the story of Jesus, your treasure.

God is interested in our life.
What are you going to do because you know the story of Jesus?
Because of Jesus, God speaks to you and gives you ideas so that you can live boldly.
So, you may need to find out what to do if you find Jesus is God’s treasure.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to discover our life according to your plan.
Help us to live boldly when we experience your idea.
We pray this in Jesus name.

Prayers of the people 17

Jesus, we know one day you will help us enter into the world where there is love, joy and peace.
Thank you for this wonderful hope.

Jesus Christ, thank you for being present in our life.
Thank you for nurturing us to be your disciples.
Thank you for guiding us daily to discover a wonderful life in you.
Thank you for showing us the direction that you design for us.
Thank you that you help us trust in you in all circumstances.

Thank you for all the gifts and talents that you give us so that we can serve you and others.
Forgive us if we have ever misused your gifts only for selfish purpose or only for our pride.

We believe in you who rule the universe.
Thank you for helping us to look to you.
Thank you for helping us to seek your kingdom and your righteousness.
Thank you for adding all the good things in our life.
Thank you for helping us to work for you who are the source of all blessings.
Thank you for helping us to find the meaning and true value in you.
Thank you for making us new creatures in you.
Thank you for healing our minds, and filling them with your love and faith.

Now to you we entrust our families and friends, all who have asked for our prayers, who pray for us.
We lift these names up to you silently.

We also pray for those whose names are not spoken but remained in our hearts.

Jesus, you provide all the blessings.
Give them also healings if they need healing.
Give them peace and understanding.
Show yourself to them if they need to know that you are near.

Today, we again pray for a miracle.
May you show up in our classrooms, in our worships, and in our life.
May teachers, preachers, students altogether be blessed today, because you are able to work here today.

We pray this in your name.


Matt 26:47-50


Jesus and Judas
Reading: Matt 26:47-50

Jesus had 12 key students.
Jesus chose each one of them one by one.
Jesus carefully chose one by one.
Then Jesus spent more times with these key students
Jesus prayed for them and about them.

Jesus chose Judas to be his disciple.
Jesus wanted to bring him into the fold.
Jesus chose him to be a key student and focused on teaching him.
Jesus started his ministry for him too.
Jesus wanted to build something for him.
For that purpose, Jesus moved a lot and taught a lot.

Jesus didn't choose new students continually.
Jesus limited himself to teach 12 key students well.
Then, Jesus promised that he would make them rule over Israel, if they left everything to follow Jesus.
And Judas was one of them.
So, Judas learned about the best lesson that he could have ever learned.

Jesus gave him special teachings and so on.
Jesus prepared him and equipped him to continue his ministry.
Jesus made him his disciple so that he could carry out his life.
Teaching him was a conscious decision for Jesus.
Jesus wanted to welcome him.

Judas saw Jesus moving various places to teach people and encourage them to experience God's power.
Judas saw Jesus healing people and teaching people.
Jesus knew that he was watching.
Jesus hoped that he would be empowered and would do what Jesus does.

First, Jesus teaches 12.
But through them Jesus was trying to make more disciples.
Jesus wanted them to reach out to help people understood God's love.
So, these 12 went out to teach others.

They need to make disciples by teaching what Jesus taught them.
This is the basic plan of Jesus.
In order to teach the world, Jesus needed Judas, as well.
So, Judas understood enough to teach others.

God is for Judas, too.
Jesus was very faithful to Judas.
God's salvation is available for Judas.
Jesus gave Judas the best he got.

Many knew that Judas was his disciple.
Many knew that Judas learned a lot.
Judas was able to teach others.
Judas preached about the Kingdom of God.
Judas’ mentor and teacher was Jesus himself.

Judas probably one time or another thought that Jesus might be the messiah.
So, Judas introduced Jesus to others as such.
Judas learned a lot from Jesus.

But then he misunderstood Jesus.
He was confused and thought he was not waiting for what Jesus was building.
Judas didn’t agree with the vision Jesus had.
Then Judas became someone else.
Judas wanted to say no to Jesus’ plan.
Judas thought that he didn’t want to follow Jesus anymore.
So, he decided to betray him and earn some money.

When Judas betrayed, how would Jesus have felt?
Was he really mad at him?
Was he angry?
But Jesus asked him:
“Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

Even before this happened, Jesus imagined it all.
Jesus saw it all.
So, before all this happened, he wrote like this: (Psalm 41:9)
“Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.”

Even though Jesus knew it all, it was still painful.
Because Judas was his disciple, his friend, it was painful.
Jesus trusted him.
Jesus hoped for him.
Jesus wanted to preserve him.
But Judas betrayed his trust.
Judas betrayed Jesus who trusted him.

Then Jesus died.
Jesus died for Judas, too.
Even if Judas didn’t betray Jesus, Jesus would have died.

Then Jesus rose again.
Then many days later, Jesus gave his students the Holy Spirit.
Then the Holy Spirit led him and inspired him.
Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus created the church.

But then Judas was not there to see the power of the Holy Spirit.
When he realized what he had done, he could not take it.
He felt guilt and shame.
That was just too much.
So, he was not there anymore.

Maybe that is why Paul said to the church that he was most happy with: (Philippians 2:12)
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

Judas betrayed Jesus when he didn’t know about Jesus’ resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Now we know the end result of the life of Jesus.
As we understand Jesus and his eternal quality, we will be able to follow him.

So, may we be faithful to Jesus.
May we always follow Jesus who lives in us.
May God help us to follow Jesus all the way.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to be a faithful disciple forever.
Thank you for listening to our prayer.
In your name, amen.