Saturday 20 September, 2014

Matthew 26:17-25

17 It was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The disciples came to Jesus. They asked, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?” 18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’” 19 So the disciples did what Jesus had told them to do. They prepared the Passover meal. 20 When evening came, Jesus was at the table with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “What I’m about to tell you is true. One of you will hand me over to my enemies.” 22 The disciples became very sad. One after the other, they began to say to him, “It’s not I, Lord, is it?” 23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will hand me over. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But how terrible it will be for the one who hands over the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” 25 Judas was the one who was going to hand him over. He said, “It’s not I, Rabbi, is it?” Jesus answered, “Yes. It is you.”

Jesus foreknew all that was about to happen. From the smaller stuff, where to find the guy whose home was used to celebrate the Passover, to the far more serious fact that one of his followers would betray him. That disciple was Judas Iscariot. Jesus also foretells his death.

I imagine the disciples would have been unsettled with the information Jesus was sharing with them. In this private and intimate setting away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds, the disciples learn that one of them is a traitor and they are told that Jesus must die. Bound to put you off your food! It was not a happy occasion, they were greatly distressed.

I find it fascinatingly honest that each disciple thought they might be the one to betray Jesus. Each one asks, “Is it me Lord?” Jesus knew them better than they knew themselves. Each disciple knew they could let Jesus down and were upfront about the possibility. There was transparency and true relationship around that Passover table. Looking Jesus in the eye, bearing your soul and having the courage to ask “Is it me?” I feel a sense of relief when I read this as there have been times when I have let the Lord down. No doubt I’ll do it in the future again too. Just part of being human. Nonetheless Jesus shared his knowledge and continued to keep the disciples in God’s plan for the future. How good is God! It’s the same with believers today. I’m also drawn to the kind of intimacy and honesty expressed around the Passover table. Something to aspire too!

Dear Lord, you know me so well and desire to use me just the same. Thank You.

Written by Ainslie Woods

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