Monday, September 27, 2010

Life of Christ Devotional - John 13:18-30

““I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’ “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.” His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 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 Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. ” (John 13:18–30, NIV)
We see from this passage that Jesus chose every disciple, even the one who would betray him, in order that scripture would be fulfilled. The point here is Jesus is not surprised by the betrayal. In fact, He chose Judas knowing He would betray. Jesus knew it would happen because God said it would happen. But where did God reveal this betrayal? The verse Jesus quotes out of Psalm 41 seems vague at best…or is it?
The verse Jesus uses is one written by David as he reflected on the betrayal of His friend Ahithopel. (You’ll find the details in 2 Samuel, chapters 16 and 17.) Ahithopel was a friend of David’s who used that friendship to gain information in order to inform David’s son, Absalom, in his sinful rebellion against his father. If you read that account of betrayal, you will find that the guilt of Ahithopel’s sin so overwhelmed him that it became more than he could bear. Guess what he did in the end?
He hung himself…just like Judas will do.
Jesus is reminding His disciples, you remember the events surrounding David and the betrayal of his friend? Watch closely…It’s about to happen again.
The disciples are all listening trying to make sense of what He is saying. All the disciples…including who? Judas!
Judas is still in the room and the passage says that Jesus was troubled in His Spirit. I believe Jesus was troubled because there was one He truly loved who would reject that love for personal gain…and it broke His heart.
You’ll notice that the disciples were quick to look at each other, not themselves. John (after being prompted by Peter) finally asks Jesus, “Lord, who is it?”
And look what Jesus does…he answers John by fulfilling the verse He quoted from Psalms. He takes the bread and he offers it to Judas.
It’s important to see: this as act of friendship. Jesus is fulfilling scripture but He is doing so through an act of love. One final offer to Judas, which he once again, refuses. Judas has been following Jesus for years. But throughout this time, he has been more interested in what he could gain than what he could give. In his pride, he pilfered money he had been given the responsibility to steward. Probably small compromises at first…but persistence disobedience hardened his heart to the point that his mind became calloused to the truth…the truth that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The truth that the verse Jesus just used was a verse about Him. Judas had let sin reign and he was responsible for his decisions. Jesus says, “Do quickly what YOU are about to do.”
Satan may be directing his path, but Judas is willing to follow, and both of them are doing what God knew would happen in order for His plan of redemption to be fulfilled.
Faithful obedience flows out of humility but pride comes before the fall.

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