After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. (John 18:1-2)
Read: Acts 10:1 – 12:5
Relate: Do you have a spot? Actually, currently I have three. Problem is, none of them are perfect and I don’t use them enough. One has a tendency to get a bit loud at times depending on what is going on nearby. It is a private spot, but I am not always in the right mindset to be able to shut out those distractions. Another spot, technically, I am not supposed to be in after dark and the times I most want to go there are after dark. A few times I’ve had a nice officer come over and interrupt my prayer to ask me what’s going on, what am I doing, and would I please go somewhere else. My third spot doesn’t have to deal with either of these issues. But it is unsheltered. If the weather is bad, and this is Binghamton, bad happens more often than not, then I am unable to use this spot. True, I should be able to just bundle up against the snow or bring an umbrella to hold back the rain, but I’m just not up for it. I tend to not use this spot unless the sky is clear. So I guess I should say I don’t really have one spot to go to. Do you?
React: Jesus did. Well, He did have a spot He went to when He was in the Jerusalem area. Considering how much of His ministry happened in Galilee, I’m sure it wasn’t His only spot but when He was in Jerusalem and needed to spend some time wrestling in prayer, this was His spot. It is a beautiful one. From the Mount of Olives He could look out and see the Jerusalem skyline. He could look out and see the buildings and the lights of that city as He prayed for its people. Wherever I have lived, I have nicknamed the spot I go to (or in this instance one of them) my River Jabbok. It is where I go to wrestle with God. This Garden was a River Jabbok that Jesus went to often enough that Judas knew all about it. Jesus was about to enter the final, most difficult spiritual wrestling match of His life and He went to a spot so familiar that Judas, without any prompting, knew just where to look for Him. Are we so known as people of prayer that when people come looking for the expectation is that they will find us on our knees?
God, I am so grateful for the honor and the privilege we have in going to meet with You. I am so thankful that You always, always are there, even if we are so sporadic ourselves in making a point to meet with You. Help me to be better at following the example You set. You were such a man of prayer that it was the default place others would look to find You. Help me to be known as a man who can be found on my knees. Even more importantly, help me to be a man on my knees even when no one is looking.