SCRIPTURE: John 13:21-32
Jesus Foretells His Betrayal
21 After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23 One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
The New Commandment
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.
One of the things that I have wondered with this part of the story is how did Jesus’ humanity deal with being betrayed. It would be easy to say that Jesus knew everything that was going to happen and accepted it, and maybe that is the reality. But we have seen Jesus’ humanity show anger in the past from cursing the fig tree (Matthew 21:18-22) to flipping tables in the temple (John 2:13-17). We have evidence of Jesus getting mad, frustrated, or angry.
So, is this simply a situation of Jesus knowing what has to happen and being a forgiving person? Or did he get mad about it and we just do not have a record of it in the Gospels? Or, as some others have speculated, was this not really a betrayal by Judas but a plan that he and Jesus had put together without the knowledge of the others, which is why the Gospel writers would see it as a betrayal? There are theological arguments for each of these positions, but in truth, we may never know, at least while in this life.
How have you felt when someone betrayed you? Did you get angry? Were you hurt and sad? Or maybe you even went through a series of feelings and emotions? Think about a time when you felt betrayed and how you handled it. Then think about a time when you betrayed someone else and how they handled it. In hindsight, what can you learn from those situations, especially in light of Jesus’ actions with Judas?
Loving God, you never betray us, even when we have betrayed you and turned away. You always stay with us, walking alongside us, throughout every good and bad thing we encounter. Help us to forgive those who betray us, and for us to be able to ask forgiveness of those we have betrayed. Amen.