Come to the upper room--and be warned
Jesus knew that his time of public ministry was just about over. The grim thunderclouds of evil were concentrating in Jerusalem, and his bitterest enemies, aided by insider information from his disciple Judas, would be arresting him in a few hours. He spent those hours carefully, leaving his disciples with powerful memories of a humble foot-washing, last Passover meal, and first-ever Eucharist.
And he taught them. In painfully clear language he showed them what they were in for as his disciples, trying to prepare them for the coming assaults of Satan and his evil host. He had special words of warning for his impetuous student, Simon Peter, who would boast that evening that he would never leave Jesus: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31,32).
Well, Simon’s faith did fail. Satan did sift him, and he denied his Savior three times. But Jesus did restore him to faith and to his old job, and for the rest of his life he humbly and fearlessly carried out a ministry of forgiveness and restoration to other sinners.
Don’t waste this Lenten season. Let Jesus’ words of warning register in your brain and strike your heart. You are under demonic assault too. But let Jesus’ gracious words of unconditional love inspire you to love him all over again.