I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’
19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
There are some words in our English language that just make us feel bad. They sound bad. They sound negative. Words like deceit. Violate. Untrustworthy. Betrayal. We'd rather close our eyes and turn away, right?
None of us like that word "betray." I'm guessing that there is really no worse feeling in the world than to know that someone you thought you knew, and that you thought you could truly trust, has violated that trust. When someone turns against you, you can scarcely breathe; you're stunned. You didn't think they would betray you. But they have. Have you experienced that?
When Jesus spoke the words in this passage, we can guess that all of the disciples were wondering who he was talking about. Probably each of them is glancing furtively at the others, checking to see if they are looking back at them. Is someone accusing them? How could they think that? I wonder if it is him? If we are again spectators in the room, we have to admit that this is an elite group. These were men that Jesus hand-picked; these were they who would be the leaders of the New Testament church. Surely they were above suspicion, above doubt. Could it be one of them? Or, more to the point, as the disciples looked around the room at each other, "Which one of us?" "Surely it cannot be me." Even Judas asked the question, trying to put up a front, that he was like the others . . . but he was about to be exposed.
Oops. Kinda getting ahead of myself there. Let's look at some of these fellows . . .
Remember Simon Peter? What is his nickname? The Rock. Hey, he says, you know it can't be me; I'm a charter member of the group! I've actually been with Jesus longer than any of you others. I'm not just a good man -- Jesus called me a rock, and it wasn't because I'm dumb, either. It means you can count on me when the chips are down. And I'm the bodyguard for this group; I'll fight when needed. Jesus knows that even if all of you left Him, I'd still be here. (Of course, we won't mention to Simon Peter that in a few hours he will eat those words.....)
How about James? He is in the inner circle, so to speak, of Peter, John, and himself. They are the most privileged, the closest to Jesus. They have seen more, have learned more, have been with Jesus more . . . and in the days to come they will see more than anyone else. James says, Well, I'm a faithful servant, and Jesus knows that I will sacrifice anything that I have for Him. So he is asking, too, "Which one of us?"
Hmmmm. We come to John next, who was called the "beloved disciple." Our verses say that he leaned on Jesus and asked Him, "Lord, Who is it?" John is wondering, how can it be me? I am closest to Jesus, and He knows how much I love Him. Why would I betray the Lord? Even now, I am the only one in the room who is close enough to Jesus to talk to Him face to face and ask Him. But, am I capable of betraying my best friend and Master? Am I?
Andrew is sitting there with the rest. As he looks about, he is thinking, no way! Not me! My mama named me Andrew, and that means "manly" and I am a man's man. I have integrity. I'm not a sissy. Never, never would I betray him . . . at least I don't think I would. Could something happen to make me do it?
Then there is Phillip. He says, I'll admit I have questioned things before. I've had trouble with this faith thing. I can't help it; it's just the way I'm made. I like to have things logical and ordered. But just because I ask questions and want proof doesn't mean I would betray Him. No! It just can't be me!
Have any of these followers of Jesus sounded a little like us? If we look into our own hearts, is it possible that we could betray our Lord?
Let's pick this up again tomorrow . . .