Character Matters

Holy Week Ponderings: Wednesday.

In the Gospels, Wednesday is a quiet day in the Holy Week accounts. There is nothing recorded about the days interactions of Jesus. Luke 22:37, “Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening He went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives.” So likely He went into Jerusalem at least to buy nourishment for the day and spend time teaching in the temple. Otherwise, it is a calm day before the “storms” begin on Thursday.

So think of it as the sunny day before the ominous clouds gather on the horizon. What clouds? We’ll touch on that tomorrow, but succinctly Thursday is the day Jesus is arrested in the Gospel narratives. The clouds are the unexpected and unwanted days for us. They never arrive in predictable fashion, and affect us deeply. Storms come to all of us.

The sun casts shadows on a colorful building in Nassau, Bahamas. Ponder the strength of Jesus to give us shelter from life’s storms. Psalm 91:1 says, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” I’ll take that shelter and rest any day. Jesus is the shade-giver.

An Unrecorded Storm

The incident is not written in the Gospel accounts but it is likely that Judas used Wednesday to sneak away and make his services available for delivering Jesus into the hands of the religious leaders. Some traditions even call the day Spy Wednesday. Judas possibly snuck away frequently since the other disciples probably thought nothing of it.

This onset of the traitor, his shifty character now becomes visible. He wasn’t worthy of trust all along though. Judas’ role in the disciples tribe was the treasurer. Curious job for the guy. John 12:6 speaks of how he handled his business, “He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.”

We sometimes learn the hard way to NOT trust people when they hurt, abuse or lie to us. Haven’t we all been recipients of gossip or unfounded charges? We know the sting of betrayal. And we are all tempted to not trust people around us, especially the ones who have hurt us.

Character does matter. Our character toward others matters. And if we are to trust people, we need to know their character is well-intentioned. My counselor always says, “Trust is the biggest commodity of true relationship.” If we aren’t trustworthy, can people trust us? Do we want to be known as trustworthy? Well, we want to be able to trust people, and only will if we trust their character. So it’s a double-edged sword. We need to be trustworthy if we can reasonably expect anyone else to be. Character matters.

Character matters to God as well. It says of Him in James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” He doesn’t change. His is consistently consistent constantly. He is always good, trustworthy, loving and just. We can have confidence that living under His shelter (perhaps better said is His protection) is a place worth the effort. Finding rest (perhaps peace is a better meaning) because we take the steps to live in His shelter is a nice pay-off. Who doesn’t want protection? Who doesn’t want peace…when the sunny days are there or when the storms rage?

Storms are on the horizon for all of us, no one is exempt from life’s difficulties. Today, won’t you take steps to find shelter in the Father’s shade? The peace that results is far better than a vacation in the Bahamas.

Wandering (and wondering) on purpose!

Photo by Mick Haupt  ©2001  | shot on slide film, Canon A2E, Nassau, Bahamas

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