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What If? The Blog

Free Will & Good Intentions

Ashley Buehler

Today’s Reading:  John 13:18-38

God is so good that He gives us choices. For all the “yes”-es and “no”-s made each day, I know I don’t take time to consider the full-spectrum-spillover from each of my decisions. But God in His greatness fully knows the immediate and eternal consequences of each nod and lane change I make. And when I choose the wrong thing, even the worst thing He still calls me, and you, to accept His love and forgiveness.

In today’s passage, Jesus was noticeably upset when He announced that one of the disciples would betray Him. Even with the caveat that He was not referring to everyone, and that He knew whom He had chosen, the idea that one of the Twelve would turn against Him was painful. It didn’t bring Jesus joy or satisfaction to have this knowledge. The passage says he was “troubled in spirit” (v21). He knew the sin, the sinner, and the gravity of the final decision about to be made by Judas.  Everyone else, however, didn’t know who it would be.  And eyes darted around the room, resting upon one another as they looked among themselves to find the guilty party.

Peter talked with Jesus after Judas left, and fervently told Him that he would go wherever Jesus went, even so far as to give his own life. And Jesus let Peter in on his own humanity:  Peter too would deny Christ. Not just once, but three times!  Did He tell Peter just so Peter wouldn’t be surprised when it happened?  Did He say it to let Peter know that He knew, and still loved him?  Or did He say so Peter would understand Judas wouldn’t be the only follower to mess up?  With all the free will we have for our hearts’, our bodies’, our minds’, and our spirits’ decisions, we will at some point make the wrong choice. It grieves our Savior, but His Love for us remains unchanged. He offers us His love and forgiveness from beginning to end, knowing our decisions along the way.  When our free will and our good intentions have gone wrong, Christ’s offer to us still stands.

Of all the things Jesus chose to share in his last moments with the disciples, why do I think he shared his knowledge of betrayals?

What can I remember about a time when I considered doing the wrong thing, and then did it?  How about a time when I did the wrong thing without having to think about it?

If this were my last week, what decision would I choose to reverse? Who would that effect?

In His grief over my sins, Christ loves me the same. Does this change how I feel about reconciling my “betrayals”?

Ok put down the Bible and live this week like it was the last!

by Ashley Buehler

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