One of the hardest things you’ll ever do is try to lead while you’re hurting—to sew someone else up when you’re coming apart at the seams. But that’s exactly what Jesus does right before He goes to the cross.
In John 18:1-3, we find the account of Jesus’s last minutes with His disciples:
“When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.”
Jesus knows He’s about to be beaten, crucified, and killed; yet, in His last moments, He bravely goes towards where He knows Judas and the soldiers will meet Him. Not only that, but He’s spent the last few hours encouraging and teaching His disciples—including Judas!
Judas was a friend; he was familiar with Jesus’s ways. After all, he had traveled with Him for about three years or so; he was with Him when He woke up and was there when He went to sleep; they ate breakfast together, had conversations together…Jesus’s greatest teaching was heard by this man. And because he was so familiar with Jesus’s ways, Judas knew that He was a man of prayer. He knew that the disciples regularly went to this place: Gethsemane.
All this to say that Jesus was leading through the pain not only of His impending death, but through the pain of a close betrayal. As a leader, are you willing and able to keep going, even when others may betray you? Are you paralyzed by someone’s lack of loyalty? Or do you have the strength to continue doing what God has called you to do, even when not everyone understands or stays with you?
Dr. Derek Grier