Jesus Chose You Before You Said Yes
Alright friends, grab your coffee and your Bible as we dive into the book of Matthew chapter 26 where Jesus was betrayed, arrested, and killed on the cross, but then risen from death. Let's talk about what He showed me through this chapter in regard to His endless grace and mercy.
When we look at verses 30-35, Jesus was telling His disciples “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the Shepard, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ The Shepard is Jesus and the sheep are His disciples. One of His disciples, Peter, responded that he would never fall away and said, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” All the disciples said the same thing. Have you ever told God something that you would "never do" and next thing you know you're asking for forgiveness? Yeah, this later turned out to be Peter!
Later in verse 47, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, betrayed Jesus with a kiss and the chief priests and elders of the people seized Jesus. Jesus began saying that He could appeal to the Father, and He would send more than twelve legions of angels to protect Him, but He wouldn’t do that because then the Scriptures would not be fulfilled. Then He said, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Unfortunately, from verse 56 we see what Jesus said come to pass in this moment that “…all the disciples left Him and fled.” That's heartbreaking if you ask me.
What amazed me was that Jesus knew this was going to happen, He even told His disciples that they would scatter from Him, yet in verse 32 He said “…after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee;” meaning through His grace, He will restore the disciples back to fellowship with Himself even after they failed to stand with Him when He needed them most. In the face of persecution when Jesus was seized by the chief priests and elders, the disciples, who had the privilege of following Jesus day in and day out, failed to stand with Him in such a significant moment. They witnessed Jesus’ glowing beauty, glory, His healing of the sick and tormented, His grace, kindness, selflessness, mercy, power, and love on display with their own eyes, and still fell into their fleshly temptation to scatter. I wondered if we are any different, but more importantly, I was in awe of who Jesus is.
This caused me to think about Jesus’ grace and mercy for us because His word (the Bible) and stories of how He reacted and what He did stir my heart to love Him deeper and be reminded of the honor it is to be loved by someone like Him; so, I hope this does the same for you!
You see, Jesus knows everything that we are going to do for him, against him, to him, and everything in between. Yet, with this knowledge, He still chooses to give us life abundantly. He still chooses to protect us, be jealous for us, and to forgive us. He still chose to die for our sins. He still chose to go before the disciples in Galilee, rather than turn on them out of anger or resentment.
Think about this for a moment: if Jesus did nothing else for His disciples and us for the rest of our lives, other than die on the cross, that would be more than enough. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." This is the ultimate display of love. This is the love of Jesus. Though He knew the disciples would scatter, that Peter would deny Him, that Judas would betray Him, that I would gossip tomorrow, that you would disobey your parents, that someone would kill, that people would walk in impurity, that people would deny His existence, He sacrificed His life on the cross for me and these imperfect individuals who did not deserve an ounce of His blood poured out. Wow.
I was thinking about grace, mercy, and love in reference to my own life to understand Jesus’ supernatural abilities and Him in general more deeply. I had this best friend that betrayed me, then never spoke to me again. Then a second-best friend who did the same thing a couple weeks later. Then my third best friend did the same exact thing a couple months later. I had never felt so hurt and betrayed in my life. Then I had to imagine what it would be like if the Father asked me to lay my life down for them, knowing the heartbreak that they caused me. It is unimaginable.
This chapter hit me so hard because I felt like God asked me, “What would you have done if you knew what your friends were going to do before they did it?”
I concluded that there would be no way I could carry on and be friends with them and do everything I did for them. I don’t know if I would truly be able to stay up until 3 am with them on a freezing cold beach helping them out of a dark moment. I don’t know that I would still be the first to knock on their door to comfort them during their breakups. I don’t know that I’d still be able to even spend time with them without a feeling of bitterness, resentment, or anger present. I’d like to think that I would have continued to be kind to them and help them as much as I did prior, but would my flesh get the best of me? When you put it into perspective in your personal life, it puts into perspective the kind of love that Jesus has for us. We begin to grasp the vastness of His goodness and selflessness that He carries.
He is so good that He chose you and me before we even said “yes” to Him. He is so good that He said, “The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (Psalms 34:10), meaning He will bless us with every good thing as our provider. He is so good that He knows that tomorrow you’re going to have sex before marriage or cheat or steal but today He still wanted to remind you how much He loves you as His child. Jesus didn’t die on the cross without knowing that so many of whom He was dying for we’re going to reject Him.
We know that Jesus is gracious, forgiving, merciful, and loving because we learn it and see it in the Bible. But do we truly recognize how good He is? These aren’t just words used to describe Him. These are pieces of His character that have saved us time and time again. These are who He is to His core that turns your adultery or other sin into another chance simply because He loves you. Simply because He made a way for us.
I’ve realized that when this hits you at your core, it shifts everything. Suddenly you want to live for God and not yourself. Suddenly you desire to please Him and be obedient to His word. Suddenly you want to know everything about Him. Suddenly you receive a gift of tears and cry just at the thought of who He is because who He is has become a reality to you. Suddenly you are hit with a love that is not humanly possible to be given out by us, but only from Him.
My prayer to God is that He gives me a deeper revelation of His goodness and mercy. That He would help me have a supernatural grace and mercy towards His children.
His love is unlike any other love, and we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 1:9) before we even hurt Him, denied Him, or sinned. Perhaps you have not come to know this love yet, so if that is you, I pray that the Lord would reveal Himself to you; I pray that He would increase your knowledge of who He is and how He feels about you. I pray that He would fill you with His fire and His love right now as you’re reading this and that you would never be the same. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me and I’d love to pray with you.