8th January 2016 Off By Derek Buckthorpe

Compline Address

Wednesday 7.30pm . 27th March 2013

Bible References :

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Prayer to start


May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ                                      AMEN



Today – if we want to be successful – carryout something that requires responsibility and commitment – we might first be asked to take a test –

It might be an exam to study for a vocation – or a profession – an interview for a responsible position in business –or the community – or to learn how to drive a car on our roads –

We first have to show that we are up to the challenge –

Thankfully Jesus doesn’t insist that we meet a minimum requirement in order to deserve His love


But if we had to take a test – to reveal how faithful and devout a Christian we are – how we would get on? –how would we fare? – how would we stand-up to the challenge of Christian discipleship?

Point 1        Judas went his own way

In the reading this evening – we are taken into the upper room – where Jesus is having His last meal with His disciples-


The evening began with Jesus washing the disciples feet – there was no servant in attendance – to provide this usual courtesy of the day – so Jesus rose from the Table – with a towel and a bowl of water – and washed each of his disciples feet –


This was to show– what it means to be humble – and to serve – and how far His love extends to each of them


Then as they began to eat – Jesus says that one of them – that night – will betray Him –

The sequences of events that followed are then aimed principally at His betrayer – Judas  – as Jesus demonstrates to Him and to those close to Him –  what it means to try to reach out and forgive someone

He doesn’t name Judas outright – or identify him – until Peter motions to John – to ask Jesus who it is

Judas was inclined to Jesus’ left – and John – ‘The Disciple whom He loved’ inclined to His right –

Peter must also have been sitting quite close – as the rest of the disciples didn’t seem to be aware of what was happening between them.


It was the custom at the Passover feast for the presiding Father – to break off a large piece of bread and give it to the honoured guest first – and Jesus used this custom to identify Judas to them –


‘It’s the one to whom I give this piece of bread,’ He says, ‘when I have dipped it in the dish’


But in this exchange with Judas – Jesus is actually giving Judas – another chance to change His mind – He is making  it clear to Judas that He knows what is happening – but by identifying him as the honoured guest – He is also telling him – that its not too late to turn back and ask for forgiveness –

The key thing here is that Judas is given every opportunity to turn away from the sin he was about to commit.  Jesus was there beside him – to help him but he chose not to trust in Jesus and decided to take His own way –

Judas stays quiet – accepted the bread from Jesus – and in so doing  – took his path to darkness


Point 2        Jesus calls us to go His way

With the betrayer gone -Jesus then begins to talk about what it means to be a disciple –


The number one priority- He said – is to Glorify God –


Jesus will soon be going to the cross – to defeat sin and death once and for all – And His journey to the cross will bring glory to God


As Jesus is glorified – so God will be glorified-


And through Jesus’ death God’s justice –grace – love, mercy, power and righteousness will be revealed –


People’s separation from God will be healed for ever – Jesus will provide a way for mankind to return to God’s kingdom – to return to the fold –


Those who repent of their sins and turn to Jesus– will be made right again with God –


We all sin – and fall short – when it comes to matching and following Jesus’ ways – and because some lessons cannot be taught –they often have to be lived to be understood –


But Jesus offers us an opportunity to learn from our mistakes – to repent and turn back to Him – He offers us a new start – if we are intending to commit the worst of crimes – no one is turned away from His love –


Jesus calls us to be Like Him – to love one another – to humble ourselves and serve each other’s needs


And whenever we show the world the love and mercy and grace of God – in our lives – then God will be glorified through us –


Judas didn’t pass the test – didn’t accept the new start – that was on offer – failed to seek God’s grace’ and mercy –and to ask for His power to turn back from his sins –



Jesus knows our inner most secrets – He knows all our needs – and no matter how hard it gets  – He is always there to help us when we stumble – urging us to take His path rather than the one to darkness


Judas failed to see the opportunity Jesus presented to him – and in the end lost his life –


So when it comes to it – will we pass the test – or will go our own way – like Judas? –


In this Holy Week – let’s rise to the challenge – turn again to Jesus as our Saviour – accept His love – and offer of forgiveness and salvation –


There can be no better aspiration in life than that –


Prayer:                           AMEN


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